Are you the owner of a taxi service or similar business that’s been impacted by ride-sharing apps like Uber, Lyft, and Grab? Alternatively, you might be in a smaller market that has not yet been targeted by these services and you want to set up your presence early. In either case, you might be wondering what you need to do to build an app like Uber so that you can compete in your market.
For residents of populous cities, a personal vehicle has always seemed like an unnecessary indulgence. With high costs for parking, insurance, and fuel, as well as constant traffic using taxis and public transit were really the only options available for many individuals.
With the launch of ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Grab, consumers had another alternative they could use when needed. However, the launch of these services dramatically impacted the incumbent taxi services that had long been used to a monopoly in the market. While ride-sharing services weren’t necessarily cheaper, the apps made using them more convenient.
While Uber was a leading organization in building a ride-sharing application, others like Lyft, Grab, Ola, and more quickly launched their own competing services. These companies understood the importance of Uber within their markets and could see its popularity growing on an almost daily basis.
By focusing their efforts on Uber-like app development, they’ve managed to quickly make inroads into areas that Uber had complete dominance over. These apps all provide a similar workflow:
If you’re ready to build an app like Uber, follow these steps to get started:
Simply assuming that “if you build it, they will come” is not a recipe for success. Building a good mobile application is not a trivial undertaking.
When undertaking to create an app like Uber, you need to understand your target market and why they would be interested in your services.
If you’re aiming to provide just an alternative solution, this is not the best idea. Because there are too many global competitors in the ride-sharing market. However, if you offer something new and distinctive, you’re more likely to gain market share. Having a clearly documented and defined plan for what you require now, as well as what you might require in the future, will help you determine your development options.
When thinking about how to make an app like Uber, the business plan is only the first step. The next requirement is a consideration of all the technical aspects of the project. Professional software development companies can help you estimate the approximate cost and time required for an application to be launched. NIX has a big team of experienced programmers in mobile app development, web development, UI/UX design, project management, business analytics and QA. The company provides a full software development life cycle.
From a development point of view, consider:
From a business management point of view, look for the following skills:
Other costs to consider include:
The next thing that you need to consider is who will build your app.
Using the services of an offshore software development company like NIX could be a very cost-efficient alternative. NIX has access to thousands of developers around the world with the skills and knowledge you are looking for when making an app like Uber.
With Uber-like app development, a key consideration needs to be customer features. Customers expect certain functionality from their ride-sharing application based on what Uber has already provided. If these features are missing, they are less likely to use your app.
This is a critical point that taxi services need to understand as they are used to providing a certain type of service. But Uber, as well as other ride-sharing companies, have changed the landscape they are used to working in.
With Uber, passengers expect to be able to contact the driver directly from the app and also see their proximity and where they are on their route. Ride-share customers want to have a seamless experience with registration and are looking for apps that give them all of their information in an intuitive manner without having to dig through menus and settings.
From a cost point of view, riders are looking for an app that will give them an estimate of their total cost before entering the vehicle. Similarly, for payments, they want an app that integrates seamlessly with popular credit and local payment providers. Additionally, consider services like fare splitting for riders that share a vehicle with others.
Finally, think about social features like ratings and reviews, as that is something that’s helped Uber grow in many markets. Also, do not forget some of the newer features that Uber has recently released, like the ability to book a ride for others and even scheduling a ride in advance.
And eventually, there are 3 major factors that have an impact on a customer’s sense of comfort: price for the service, full awareness and the ride itself.
Uber wouldn’t be the world-spanning, multi-million-dollar business it is without the drivers it uses around the globe. While you might have your own fleet of vehicles or taxis, the features and functions that Uber provides to its drivers are worth noting, as they might be of use to you as well.
When building an app like Uber, think about how your drivers will use the app. Give them the capability of indicating their availability with an active and inactive flag. They should also be able to communicate directly with passengers directly from the app.
Also, the app should offer maps that not only display road but also traffic conditions, along with advanced route optimization. This can include shortcuts and even secure routes that aren’t as well known in some regions.
Drivers should be able to get reports on bookings over different periods of time so they can calculate their earnings quickly and easily. In addition, the app should offer a timer so that if a fare chooses to cancel after a certain period of time, they will still get billed.
To build an app like Uber, you’re basically building two different apps for passengers and drivers with the admin panel acting as a controller.
The purpose of the admin panel is to let you control the overall business. This includes letting you collect user data and payments, as well as determine how much you should be paying your drivers.
The admin panel can include several modules:
The admin panel can also provide information about vehicles and their maintenance schedules, making it a complete control center for your taxi business.
Building an admin panel can be a complicated process based on your specific needs.
Mentioned earlier features require development time and effort, so if you’re interested in building an Uber app, you may need some idea of these costs.
Geolocation services are a feature that will allow passengers to see a driver’s real-time location. This is helpful in understanding how close or far a driver is and also which direction they are coming from so that the passenger can get ready. It also helps drivers find the pick-up address of the client.
Considering payment integration a decision needs to be made early in the development life cycle about how you want to handle payment. For companies that want to keep all credit card and user information, PCI certification is a must. An alternative used by many — including Uber — is using a third-party that is PCI certified. Payment integration costs vary based on the different payment options you want to enable.
The registration page should offer simplified authorization using existing Google and Facebook profiles. It should also integrate with the ratings and review system so that only verified profiles can leave a review. The ability to leave reviews is one of Ubers secrets and has helped propel it forward. It should be a feature that you make available if at all possible.
Callings between the client and the driver right from the app are an essential feature. In addition, developers also need to consider different messaging platforms and push notifications to guarantee that communication is seamless. Notification features, as well as geolocation, depend on the device being used. So costs of implementing this function will vary based on the platform chosen.
A significant benefit that passengers have gotten used to from using apps like Uber is the ability to know in advance what they’ll pay before they use the service. Ride cost estimation is not a simple calculation and varies based on the number of vehicles available at the time and also the type of vehicle chosen for the journey.
The back-end development is where the code that runs the application integrates with the databases that hold all the information. The back-end and front-end work together to power an app. Back-end development is complex and involved and you can expect the team to spend the bulk of their time here integrating and testing all the features and functionality.
Front-end development time varies depending on the platform, as the requirements are different for Android or iOS. Similar to back-end development, this is another area that takes a significant amount of time and effort. The front-end is the overall look and feel of the app including the navigation menu so getting it right is essential.
Overall, the total cost for an app can vary considerably based on the features you plan to offer and the platforms that you want the app to work on. For example, a single app that is expected to work on either iOS or Android will be cheaper than an app that will work on both platforms. But it doesn’t mean it will bring you customers, so picking a platform you must depend on the audience preference, let your decisions be data-driven, do not make a choice based on ways to save.
Building an app with these capabilities requires a certain knowledge and skill set that is hard to find. If you’re looking to build this app internally, you’ll need to hire a team that includes developers, engineers, project managers, and designers. This is an expensive and time-consuming process.
The development team will need to understand how best to integrate with different payment platforms, as well as having a knowledge of both Android and iOS. So, while knowing what you need when it comes to a taxi app is a good first step, it isn’t enough to build a solution capable of competing with Uber. A better alternative is to outsource your app development to a third party, like NIX.
NIX’s developers have experience with the latest technologies. Our team of project managers and business analysts can work with you to make sure that you are considering all the requirements and that your plan is the best one for the market. Contact us to find out how we can help you create an app like Uber.
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