How to make an app like Uber?
Do you want to do something great, something big, something unique? Have this amazing idea to create the next billion-dollar taxi pick-up app, but…
How to make an app like Uber?
This article will provide practical lessons on how to create an Uber-like app. All the lessons mastered running a software development company for more than 10 years. Read all the aspects carefully because they will save you thousands of dollars in engineering hours.
Uber was one of the first companies to create an app for taxi booking and rides. This novel idea from the organization drove many others to develop similar services. The primary secret to Uber’s success is its convenient, simple, and functional application. If you wonder how to make an app like Uber, this article can point you in the right direction. Moreover, it enlists how other digital services can gain from Uber’s model of business, specifically the sharing economy. Listed below are some of the agendas for the article.
- Keep it simple and start with an MVP.
- Don’t begin developing right away.
- Start with a functional prototype first.
- Strategies to follow when creating an app like Uber.
- Unique aspects and tech stacks required for the app creation
- Admin panel, driver app, and passenger app functionality for Uber-like apps.
- How to develop an app like Uber and stick to the allotted budget.
- Established revenue streams for such taxi-hailing applications.
Remember that your aim should not be to create an app that matches Uber’s application in all aspects. Instead, you must introduce unique features and useful ideas, lacking in Uber’s product.
Uber Overview and Statistics
Let’s get started! To understand the technical side of developing an Uber-like app, you must first appreciate the operations of Uber’s application. You first need to learn about the ‘uberisation’ of the taxi-hailing industry before you can make an effective application similar to Uber’s. It created a service that reflected the current user behavior when it comes to affordable transportation. By the beginning of 2019, the company had estimated revenue of $16 billion. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Uber is the dominating taxi-hailing service in the world, even after facing tough competition from other brands offering similar services. Presently, Uber is available across 500 cities in 60 nations worldwide.
Developed by Garett Camp, Travis Kalanick, and a few of Camp’s friends in 2010, the first version of Uber was available only on iOS. Within the first half-year of the application’s launch, Uber garnered 6,000 users and completed almost 20,000 successful rides. To achieve its popularity, Uber hosted and sponsored a few tech events. Additionally, it performed test rides in San Francisco. This city is more open to new technology, taking every opportunity to make life easier and more convenient. Today, the Uber app is available for free across both iOS and Android platforms, offering passengers a simple way to access taxi rides anywhere and at any time. Currently, the company completes more than 10 million rides every day and serves approximately 50 million users worldwide.
Understanding the Workings of the Uber App
Uber drivers receive trip requests directly through their Uber application. These drivers use their personal vehicles to ferry Uber passengers from one place to another, thereby making a considerable income. The car closest to the passenger’s location responds to the trip request. Both parties can check the other’s real-time location from within the app.
To get a better insight into how to create an app like Uber, the following 5 sub-steps are crucial for you to understand.
- Step 1: Creating the trip request by clearly mentioning the pickup and drop off point for the drive. Customers can check the fare for the trip and also choose between various car types.
- Step 2: The next step is trip verification, where the user confirms the pickup location and all other relevant data.
- Step 3: Finding the Uber driver located nearest to the passenger. However, the driver has the option to decline the trip request, in which case, it is passed on to the next nearest Uber driver.
- Step 4: Users need to add digital modes of payment to the Uber app beforehand, including credit card or debit card information. PayPal, Android Pay, and Apple Pay are other accepted modes of payment. Passengers also have the option of modifying the default tip settings.
- Step 5: Uber’s app prioritizes the rating system, associating the score in each ride to form a digital record of the driver. This ensures that future passengers can pick drivers accordingly.
Uber’s fare calculation is simple and effective. It considers both the time and distance for a particular trip. For instance, if the car moves slower than 16 kilometers per hour, the passenger is charged by the minute. However, if the speed is greater, he/she is charged based on the distance traveled.
Recreating the Functionality In a Uber-like App
Creating an effective taxi-hailing service, not unlike Uber, requires an in-depth understanding of the whole system. You would essentially need to create three separate apps, one of which is suitable for riders, while the other is essential for the taxi drivers. Moreover, you require an admin panel to connect these two individual apps into one fully functioning system.
- An app for the riders
- An app for the drivers
- An admin app to manage the business
Additionally, your service needs to have a landing page that works as the entry point for interested users and drivers to sign up for the taxi-hailing business. Listed below are features necessary for your Uber-like app, divided into passenger-oriented, driver-oriented, and Admin panel-oriented aspects.
UI/UX are very important
Don’t start coding your Uber-like app right away! Investing time on your prototype will lead you to better results and save you thousands of dollars. When asking how to build an app like Uber, you should not be carried away by its technicalities and profitability alone. You must also deliver an attractive and user-friendly application. Concentrate on perfecting the UI/UX design for the project Here are some recommendations to follow when designing the user interface for your application.
- Create a user-friendly experience
- Include attractive visual elements and graphics to wow users
- Maintain a flow in the taxi-booking process within the app.
To know more all the required steps to create a successful app, please read the article below:
Please make sure you choose one operating system to start! This simple tip will save you several engineering hours and speed up the application time to market. Hybrid cross-functional development associated with an MBaaS is also a great way to launch your MVP in a much faster way.
- Choose between iOS and Android.
- Go for hybrid development.
- Use an MBaaS.
Uber Passenger-related Features
Your app must include the following features for passengers’ convenience and application.
- Registration – It should allow new users the ability to sign up for the taxi-hailing service through their email and Facebook accounts. Phone number verification is another important part of the registration process.
- Booking a Taxi – The app should include a complete system for taxi booking that allows you to enter drop-off address, pick-up location, and select the preferred car type.
- Driver Tracking – A feature to track the movement of the driver through an in-app map.
- Fare calculator – This feature allows the rider to check the expense of the ride before booking. Incorporating this feature can be complicated work for the backend team.
- Payment – Implement cashless payment systems, including credit cards, PayPal, and others.
- Push notifications – Notifications are essential to inform riders regarding their cab booking status, arrival time, and more. Furthermore, the notifications can also inform customers about deals and discounts.
- Messaging – Hassle-free contact with the driver from within the application.
- Rating and reviewing the driver – Vital for evaluating the service of the driver and the overall ride.
- Travel records or history – Detailed view of previous rides and payments with the app.
- Customer support – Option to seek help from customer support when the rider faces issues.
As your app evolves and you start releasing newer versions, include the following features to improve the rider user experience.
- The pickup location is automatically detected by the driver as the user’s current location.
- Offer ride cancellation option within a specified period after booking.
- Real-time map incorporation in the app can allow customers to check the location of all nearby cabs before booking.
- Allow a group of riders to split the payment for the taxi ride amongst themselves.
- Pre-booking a ride by mentioning the time of departure.
- Offer voice-recognition and voice command support when booking taxis on the platform.
- Integration of a panic button in the app to make the taxi-hailing service safer for users.
- You can offer ‘book for others’ option so that people can book taxis for their friends, relatives and family members.
Uber – Driver-related Features
While developing the features of the driver app for your taxi-hailing service, you can reuse some of the functionalities implemented in the passenger application. For instance, messaging, push notifications, log-in, support, and reviews are just as important for drivers, and their development structure remains the same in both the driver and rider apps.
Listed below are some of the features that are unique to the driver’s side of the application.
- Driver’s status and profile – Service administrators, need to verify the details of the driver, including the license and vehicular insurance and all other necessary documentation. The profile status informs whether a particular driver is available or busy.
- Trip Alert – This feature helps to notify drivers when passengers book a trip. The alert must include the option to either accept or deny the order, based on the passenger’s location as well as their destination.
- Navigation – The driver app must provide a map functionality that marks the fastest route to the destination. Integration with Google Maps should help optimize routes based on traffic, as well.
- Driver Delivery Stats – If you are wondering how to develop an app like Uber, focus on integrating driver statistics into your service. These reports should include in-depth information regarding the number of trips a driver completes and monthly earning details as well.
Apart from these common features, you can also work to include advanced features in your taxi-hailing app for drivers.
- Preferred destination – With this feature, a driver can choose preferred destinations, receiving mostly passengers traveling to these areas.
- Meeting targets – Your service can offer bonuses to drivers who meet certain criteria. For instance, finishing a predetermined number of trips each month or acquiring favorable ratings from all their riders.
- Waiting time – The driver’s time is as valuable as the passengers’. Therefore, implementing a wait time is a good way to deter late arrivals in riders. With this feature, your service can charge additional money from travelers who fail to meet drivers at the location within a specified time.
- Forward dispatch – This highly useful feature allows drivers to accept additional rides before finishing their current trip. Forward dispatch can make the transition from one trip to another smoother and more effective.
Uber Admin Panel To Monitor the Service
Part of how to create an app like Uber lies in the formation of an admin panel to control and monitor the interaction between drivers and riders. Think of the admin panel as the control center for your cab-hailing services. Take a look at the high-level functions listed below that all admin panels for Uber-like services must offer.
- User and driver management
- Fare and location management
- Ratings, Reviews, and Feedback
- Booking management
- Notifications management
- Vehicular management
- User and Driver Support
- FAQ and System Content Management
- Google Analytics Integration
- Reviewing driver’s payoffs and orders
- Discounts and promotions management
Using a BaaS – Backend as a Service will be very handy to development an Admin App. It will save you time and engineering hours, and you will not reinvent the wheel. To know more, please read:
Technologies Necessary For Building An Uber-like App
How to develop an app like Uber does not simply rely on knowing the features and functionalities. You also need technical prowess and knowledge to make such an application a reality. In this portion of the article, you will learn the technical requirements for building a cab-hailing platform.
Geolocation is the primary technology needed for any app, similar to Uber. Therefore, such an app would rely heavily on the following navigation and mapping technologies.
- Correctly identifying the location of the user’s device, using Google’s API locators in Android devices and CoreLocation framework for iOS mobile devices.
- Maps are implemented in the form of Google Maps in both Android and iOS phones. Alternatively, you can also purchase map services from other mapping software projects.
- With MapKit, you can provide accurate directions to drivers on the iOS platform, while Google Maps API performs the same function for Android device users.
After dealing with the Geolocation aspect of the application, you must next proceed to another crucial feature – Push Notifications and messaging services within the app. Uber-like apps need to have reliable ways to establish contact between drivers and riders. Right from booking a trip to ride acceptance or cancelations by the driver are integral notifications your services rely on.
Using a BaaS – Backend as a Service will simplify the implementation of both Geolocation and Push-Notifications features. These two features are already pre-built on BaaS platforms, and using it will reduce the engineering effort of implementation.
To further improve communications, you should also integrate SMS services as well. In some cases, when the user is unconnected to the Internet, they may fail to receive crucial notifications on their phones. SMS can act as a secondary mode for notifying clients. There are several services available to deliver SMSs, and the most know is Twillio.
Payment Gateway Integration is the next important part of the application that your development team must handle. To avoid any issues later on, payment of the fare through cards should be included within your cab-hailing app. However, to proceed with Payment Gateway Integration, you need to adhere to certain policies and requirements for handling such sensitive data. Each nation’s policies in this regard tend to differ slightly, so check before proceeding with this functionality.
Uber-like app use cases
Developers must avoid creating an Uber clone app, hoping to duplicate the company’s success. Doing so would be a bad business tactic that will lead to misfortune for your product. Before creating the service, think about how you want it to impact people. For instance, a good idea is developing a local cab-hailing service that brings together individual drivers under a common entity.
Uber has launched its own API in the market as well, which makes it easier to implement the company’s business model into your own industry or sector. Here are some examples of how you can form an Uber-like app for the following services.
- Healthcare services
- On-demand beauty services
- Grocery and food delivery services from local groceries
- Transportation services
- Delivery services for online products
- On-demand home repair and cleaning services
Listed below are some final suggestions to developers looking to launch their cab-hailing services.
- Start with an MVP
- Try and fail fast
- Determine which features and functionalities are crucial to the application.
- Research and analyze to determine the target demographic for your business model
- Ensure your business model fulfills the market demands
- Go for niche markets (the broad market is already dominated by Uber)
- Hire skilled and experienced developers to code the software. Please see curated development companies here.
- Take user feedback seriously and adjust accordingly, ensuring long-term success for the application.
Uber was successful because, at the time of its launch, no other company had devised a similar cab-hailing service at such a large scale. Today, such services are commonplace, making it harder for new businesses to create a powerful impact on a global scale. Innovative ideas can always help your app go the distance. Ensure you do something unique and useful with the service, which should guarantee Uber-like popularity for your brand as well.