What does it take to have your own Uber-like app? A complete guide on how to develop a taxi app.
Since the world is on the go all the time, the last thing anyone needs on their plate is to worry about busy traffic or to look for a car parking space or merely spend on car repair. Hence, a tremendous surge and success in taxi or cab service industry.
What’s more thrilling is how this service is made to reach out to everyone with ease to book and complete a ride without having to own a car. Thanks to many such services such as Lyft, Zipcar, Hailo or Gett but the one sheer outperformer in car-rent or taxi service is Uber. Transport company capturing the market and targeting busy metropolitan cities & riders with mobile apps to let passengers book a taxi and hence acquire customer base in the process.
Uber’s success in cab hailing industry has paved the way for many other taxi apps and also following the footsteps in building an Uber-like app with an understanding of their business model, approach, and functionality. Let’s see what technology stack and how much it costs to develop an app like Uber, but first let’s understand a bit about Uber?
What is Uber?
Uber app is used to book a taxi. Uber operates in 375 cities of 77 countries with 80 million users. Uber app has been a real blessing for passengers as they can either instantly book a cab or schedule it for later with just one tap on the phone through Android, iOS, and Windows phone apps.
The Uber cab service is around 40-50% cheaper than traditional taxi cabs and even the response rate is quicker. Uber is not only for passengers to book a taxi but also for drivers to register and can earn. Hence, for drivers, Uber acts as referral service and created job opportunities.
Moreover, with its seamless app design & simple user interaction, great marketing campaign and minimal error reports, Uber has acquired a fair share of cab-hailing industry and others are following into the footsteps with slight modifications in the business model in same and other industry sectors.
How does Uber work?
The general working functionality of Uber app is shown in the following steps:
Step 1: Request
Customer places a request for instant taxi or schedule for later via the app. Respective details are sent to the nearest driver.
Step 2: Matching
The driver either accept or reject the ride. Upon rejecting, the request is sent to another driver.
Step 3: Ride
The customer can track the approaching taxi and its estimated time of arrival (ETA).
Step 4: Payment
The customer feels informed and more comfortable with cashless payment and knowing estimated ride fair.
Step 5: Rating
This is an important factor in Uber’s business approach and logic as it builds a positive reputation and also enhances service reliability.
Primarily, one has to keep in mind different features & functionality while building an Uber-like app. Uber actually consists of two separate components, viz Uber Driver App and Uber Passenger App.
Some of the passenger and driver interface features might overlap, however, each has its own importance and functionality. More importantly, it is hard to pin down the exact cost to build an Uber-like taxi app but based on the various factors such as app design & architecture, developer’s rate, feature-set & functionality, country, industry and many more related aspects.
Let’s take a peek at features of Passenger App and Driver App:
- Register/Login: To manage personal information
- Booking Interface: Fill details to book a taxi as you need such as pick-up & drop location, select car type, etc
- Tracking: To track taxi/driver’s location, update ride information
- Fare Calculator: To check the estimated cost of the ride and apply the discount if applicable
- Payment: Cashless option via in-app, credit card or use just plain cash. A rider can also split the fare with a fellow traveler and can receive invoices through phone and email
- Push Notifications: Helps in keeping the user updated on ride status, car details, ETA, etc.
- Rate Ride Service: Provide feedback to the driver and/or rate taxi service
Features of Driver App:
- Register/Profile: Register as a driver and update profile.
- Online Status: Active/ Inactive driver status on the map. Also booking options to accept or reject any ride with info on customer’s location and other booking details
- Push Notifications: Receive order alerts, booking data such as location, route, etc
- Navigation: Using Google Maps or Places for optimal directions and route guidance
Technology Stack To Build Uber-like App:
There are three major aspects while developing a taxi app viz, Server, Mapping, and Payments. Since Uber has made their API available to the public, now it has been easier to build your own customized Uber-like app. Primarily, to handle and manage hundreds of user requests on a daily basis, the app has to be equipped with driver routes and servers.
The final cost of the taxi app is depended upon the use of features, functionality, and components put together in developing the said app. Many mobile app development companies across the world have different hourly rates ranging from $20-40 to $130-150. Hence, below we have discussed and tried to derive cost associated with the above-mentioned aspects by taking an average of $50 per hour. Let’s see them one by one.
1). Geolocation and Coverage: In order for users to find the car location, GPS technology is put to use with maps integration and positioning. Also to calculate distance and find routes, you need to have routing servers. When a customer clicks on the map to point pick-up location or track the real-time car movement or the route or direction, it’s Google Maps. On the other hand location services operated by Uber, iOS apps are driven by CoreLocation framework for region monitoring & MapKit framework for selecting routes and directions. While Uber Android apps use Google Location Services API for location and Google Maps Android API to perform route and direction search.
It would roughly require developers around 130 hours to integrate location & routing feature in your Uber-like taxi app. Based on the average price of development service, ‘Geolocation and Coverage’ should cost you approximately $6,500.
2).Payments: Today’s payment technologies have paved the way for easy and simple financial transaction gateways between all the concerned parties. Cashless in-app payment options via Stripe, Braintree, Paytm, PayPal is not only convenient for both passengers and drivers but also is safer & faster than paying through cash. Moreover, a passenger gets to know the estimated fare of the ride before placing a request.
If your company is going to provide financial service as a matter of storing and processing credit card information and data, you need to meet all the necessary and updated requirements known as PCI compliance.
Integrating payment gateway in your Uber-like taxi app is an in-depth and longer process. Hence, it will take around 125 hours to complete the process. Based on our basic hourly average rate of $50, ‘Payment Integration’ will cost you approximately $6,250.
3).Design: The design of your Uber-like taxi app will play a major role. As simpler and easier your app is to book a taxi, to locate and pay, the higher will be the acceptance and profit. Clear user interface and seamless user design app experience will make sure of smooth interaction with the customers.
The designing time could vary depending on how intense, a classy and appealing design you have in mind. But the average time starts from 50-120 hours. Hence, ‘Designing’ will cost you approximately $3,000 based on the 60 hours of average time for completion of the designing task.
4). Registration & Notifications: You could offer one-time user registration by sign-up or link through social media so as to make the booking procedure simpler every time user wants to book a taxi. Additionally, rating and feedback will definitely add points to increasing customer friendliness. This factor surely adds to improve quality of the service in all aspects. The time for registration and profile creation may take up to 130 hours
Tech stack for push notification is pretty straightforward. Google Firebase for Android and Apple Push for iOS phones. A necessary part of the taxi service industry is that you have to keep the user informed about driver’s information such phone number, taxi details such as registration number and any other such important notifications can be achieved via SMS, email and/or push notifications. For SMS, Uber went with Twilio, however, there are other communication channels also like Plivo, Nexmo, Tropo or Sinch. Including push notification and SMS integration, it might take around 70 hours of work in total.
Hence, the total time for registration and notification will be around 200 hours, which on the basis of $50 hourly rate will amount to $10,000.
As we have calculated on the average base price, moderately one can take into account the total cost of an Uber-like taxi app could cost approximately $30,000 for iOS, $35,000 for Android and for the Native app, it will cost around $65,000.