The biggest disruption in technology affecting the cab industry was the launch of Uber in 2009. The brain behind Uber was of Garrett Camp. The idea of developing a ride-sharing app was triggered when they had to shell out $800 for hiring a private cab on New Year evening. Starting with an option to hail a black luxury car in 2009 to become the world’s highest-valued private setup in a decade, the journey is nothing less than fascinating. Today, whenever you think about a cab, the first name that comes to mind is Uber. It was able to carve a niche in spite of immense competition in the market. It has become the solution to all the transportation worries.
The world has gone bonkers over the simplicity of the app in providing multiple types of transport to its users with multiple pricing options to choose from, enhancing the revenue of the drivers as well as the cab aggregator company at the same time. Uber app has made its presence felt on the global map so strongly that it has inspired developers and entrepreneurs to develop similar kinds of a platform and acquaint themselves with the costs involved in developing an Uber-like app.
Thinking on the same lines, let us explore the basics, features, business model, and finally, the development costs of such an app. Let us start with the top competitors of Uber in the market.
Popular Uber-like Apps in the Market
A Look at Uber – Its Funding and Working Mechanism
Uber is a San Francisco based multinational Cab Aggregation Corporation known for its ride-hailing services. The platform offers both web and mobile interfaces to connect drivers and passengers. The app helps the users in hailing a cab with the minimal waiting time. The integration of maps in mobile apps development became the forte of Uber. With the integration of Google Maps, the app shows the users the exact pick-up point as well as their expected time of arrival at the destination. Uber is being used by more than 110 million active users located in 820 cities across 173 countries worldwide.
The launch of Uber disrupted the entire taxi market by providing a simple and easy solution for the transportation woes of people. Both drivers and riders are mutually benefitted to create a win-win situation. Even paying for the ride became easy by including multiple payment options apart from the traditional payment mode, i.e. cash. The rating system facilitates the rider to know about the track record of the driver. The repercussion of these mind-boggling features was that net solutions labeled Uber as the most popular cab aggregation app worldwide.
To expand its horizons, Uber Inc. has raised a total capital of $31.4 Billion in 11 funding rounds from more than 50 investors, the latest being in April 2019. Some of the investors worth mentioning are Microsoft, Toyota, Softbank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Tata Capital, Barclays, etc.
How Does Uber Works?
Uber app connects drivers and passengers. The passengers can request a ride using their rider app. The request is broadcasted to all the nearby driver-partners. Whenever a driver accepts the request, the app displays the expected time of arrival of the driver in real-time. The app also provides information about the driver and vehicle, which helps the passenger in identifying your ride at the pickup location. The rider can change the destination before or even during transit.
Once the rider reaches the destination, the fare of the trip is automatically calculated. The fare is charged as per the preferred payment method linked to the rider’s Uber account. This payment method shall be ideally selected before the ride request. Once the trip ends, the rider and driver both would be asked to review and rate each other. The rating and review of the driver help the next rider in choosing a driver as per his expectations.
Before moving on, let us give you some statistics to make you believe that the costs for developing an Uber-like app would be more of a safe bet, rather than a gamble.
Statistics Showing Popularity of Uber in the Ridesharing Market
These statistics surely validate the fact that the Uber app is ranked the No.1 Android app in the Maps & Navigation category. Let us see the features included in the Uber app.
Features to Consider While Developing a Uber-like App
For developing an app like Uber, nevina infotech suggests three diverse versions of the app,
- For Riders
- For Driver Partners
- For Admin
Let us try to understand the different features supported by these three versions one by one.
Features in Rider Side of Uber-like Platform
Below are the features worth considering while designing a rider version of Uber-like app,
Register via Social Media
Gone are the days, when the user of an app would fill in lengthy and time-consuming personal details for registration. When all his details are already included in his social media profile, one can fetch it from there.
The feature to track the location of the vehicle does wonders to the trust level of riders as he knows exactly the amount of time he has to wait, expected time of arrival, and the exact route to be used for the trip. This feature also needs to provide an option for sharing this on social media. This is essential to remove the safety concerns of the riders, especially if the rider is a woman or a senior citizen.
The app estimates the waiting time associated with a specific type of vehicle so that the customers can choose a vehicle as per his urgency. The waiting time is estimated by calculating the distance between the nearest driver-partner and the rider.
The current payment option selected by the user is shown here. The user can change the payment option as per his requirements. The app can support multiple payment options, including cash, digital wallets, credit card, debit card, etc.
This option gives the riders the flexibility to choose from multiple transportation options as the estimated fare associated with each vehicle is highlighted. The price is calculated dynamically considering factors like distance, demand, type of vehicle, etc.
The users confirm the booking of the ride from here after finalizing the type of vehicle, accessing cost and waiting time, payment mode, etc. The interface acts as a dashboard for the rider displaying all the relevant information at one place to take an instant decision.
To and From
This option is generally the first one to be displayed wherein the user has to specify the pick-up and drop locations. The pick-up and drop locations must be precise, and the geo-location technology is used for accuracy and preciseness in waiting time and price calculations.
The push notifications option can be turned on or off, depending on whether the rider wants the app notifications to be displayed or not even when the app is not turned on. The app can notify the riders about the route, estimated time of arrival, final fare, promo codes, etc.
Driver’s Ratings and Reviews
The rider can view the average ratings and reviews of the driver allotted to him for the ride from here.On the basis of reviews, the rider can decide whether to continue the ride with that driver or request for another ride. This feature saves time when the rider wants to repeat a specific journey as he doesn’t have to feed in the details again.
Booking Ride History
The rider can access the history of his previous trips.
This option can be used to interact with the driver. while waiting for the ride. An SOS option is also included here to be used in case of an emergency to alert emergency response services. The customer care option needs to be included in resolving any sort of issue.
Book a Ride for Others
This option can be used by a registered user to book a ride for a non-tech savvy person or for a person not registered with the app. This feature is also useful for booking a ride for a person who does not use a smart-phone.
This option can be used by the rider to split the fare amongst multiple friends sharing the same ride. This option is useful for teenagers or college-going students who want to save money while commuting to the same location.
Features in Driver Side of Uber-like Platform
The driver side app ideally should have the following features,
Driver-partners can register themselves by using their social media credentials. This is essential to keep track of the activities of the driver-partner. The driver-partner can opt for a manual sign-in, or he can log in through his social media or e-mail account.
To be able to become a driver-partner, one has to upload the necessary documents like vehicle registration details, driving license, identity proof, etc. These documents can be uploaded from here for the admin’s approval.
The driver-partner can edit his basic details from here in case of a change in address, contact number, etc. The profile also includes the latest photograph of the driver-partner. The photograph is displayed to the rider for identifying the driver allotted to him for a specific ride.
Once the driver-partner is approved, he can get the trip requests on the app which he can accept or reject. The driver-partner receives trip requests based on the proximity of the rider and the time required for reaching the pick-up location.
The driver-partner can specify the hours of unavailability in case he is busy with any other personal or professional assignment. This feature helps the app in giving priority to a specific driver-partner if multiple driver-partners are available near the rider’s location.
Driver-partners can navigate to the pickup location before the ride and the drop location during the ride through Google maps without any hassles. The geo-location technology of the app can decide the optimal route to save the travel time of the rider.
Driver-partners also have the option of canceling the trip, but the reason has to be stated. The frequency of cancellations and lack of genuine cancellation reasons can fetch negative points to the driver-partner, which might affect the number of trip requests allotted to him.
The driver-partner can view his daily, weekly, as well as monthly earnings. The driver-partner can also specify the payment mode through which he is expecting payment from the company. This feature gives an idea to the driver-partner about the revenue he is earning for financial planning.
The driver-partner can view the invoice for the trip, including taxes and other details. This gives an idea of profitability after-tax deduction to the driver-partner for an individual trip. It also helps the driver in giving the rider breakup of the fare paid.
The driver-partner can approach customer support in case of queries related to the trip. The driver-partner can contact customer support via chat, e-mail, etc. The driver-partner can also contact the customer care telephonically.
Features in Admin Side of Uber-like Platform
The dashboard will highlight the real-time data along with key information through graphs and charts. The admin can manage the fleet or ride-hailing business present in single or multiple locations through the dashboard.
The admin can manage all types of requests, including current requests, pending requests, scheduled requests as well as a completed request from here. The requests can also be categorized location wise, date wise, status wise, etc.
Admin can track all the associated vehicles on maps. The location of active and inactive driver-partners can also be accessed. This feature can be further used to filter vehicles and drivers in a specific locality or area.
Admin can access all the reviews and rating details – driver wise as well as user-wise. The ratings can be used to identify the positive and negative points of a specific driver. In case of a severe or repetitive issue, it can also be used to blacklist a driver-partner.
Admin can access and evaluate the common reasons for cancellations and formulate a strategy to avoid them in the future. This helps in eliminating the hindrances in getting new riders and helps in revenue enhancement.
Driver Partner Details
Admin can view the details and documents uploaded by driver-partners. Admin can also bifurcate approved and unapproved ones. Admins can access the earning details as well, including the amount pending.
Admin can access the profile and wallet details of all the riders. Admin has the right to add, update, or delete users. The user’s account can be suspended in case of a suspicious transaction or if he repetitively cancels trips to waste the time of driver-partners.
Admin can generate reports for earnings for a pre-defined or a customized period. Apart from this, earning reports can be generated for a specific location, vehicle make, vehicle type, driver-partner, customer, payment mode, etc.
Admin can access the details of every trip irrespective of the timeline. This information is useful for resolving a specific query or issue. The consolidated or drilled-down data is also available for location-wise, customer-wise, or driver-wise trips.
Admin can add, update, or delete the type of vehicle, e.g., SUV, Auto, Sedan, etc. This feature is useful when the company decides to include a new vehicle make, or remove an outdated vehicle model from its fleet.
Admin can add, update, or delete different types of promo codes or coupons. This feature can be developed efficiently in growing economies like India by hiring mobile app development services in india as they are aware of the local consumer’s mindset.
Admin can manage time zone, country, currency, etc. in case of business operating in multiple markets. This feature is pretty useful for analyzing the financial viability of the business in multiple markets in its local currency.
Admin can generate various types of reports to analyze the performance of an individual driver, location, vehicle type, payment mode, etc. The reports can be used to assess the performance of a specific promotional strategy, e.g., promo code or coupon, etc.
Tech Stack & Team to Consider for Creating a Uber-like Platform
The technology stack required for mobile app development like Uber comprises of Geolocation technology, push notification and management technology, and technology for integration of payment gateways.
– Google Location Services and Google Maps Android API for Android
– Core Location framework and MapKit API for iOS
Push notification & management Technology
– Google Firebase and Apple Push for push notifications for Android and iOS respectively
– Twilio for SMS notification services for both Android and iOS
Payment Gateway Integration Technology
– Paytm, BrainTree, Stripe, PayPal mobile SDK for Android and iOS
– Apple Pay for iOS
– Google Wallet for Android
Backend Programming Languages
– Java, PHP, Python, Node.js, Ruby on Rails
Apart from this several other tools and technologies like Kotlin (Android App), Swift (iOS App), Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, Elastic email, Socket.io, Card.io Facebook SDK, APNS, etc. might be used depending on the requirements.
The team required for developing this kind of app would comprise of a project manager, business analyst, UI/UX designer, Android/iOS developer, Backend developer, and QA engineer.
Cost of Uber-like App Development
The cost of developing a mobile app can be calculated by the number of hours put in the wireframing, User-Interface development, and coding. The hourly wages for IT industry varies from $20 to $200 depending on the type of service. The time devoted to coding depends on the complexity of the app and features to be incorporated.
Monetization Model of an Uber-Clone Mobile Application
The basic revenue model for cab aggregators like Uber is straight forward. The company gets a commission from driver-partners on every trip that happens. Apart from this, the company can charge a small fee from the operators for using their platform. The company can additionally generate revenue by charging extra during peak hours, often known as surge pricing. The company can also charge extra for providing special delivery services or delays or modifications in the schedule, etc. The gross revenue of cab aggregation companies is expected to reach $285 billion by 2030, making it a drool-worthy decision to foray into this business.
Customer Engagement Strategies to Look Out for While Developing Uber-Clone app
A unique referral code is issued to the customer. They can share this with family members and friends. Both are referring and referred user gets a discount on their next ride if the referred user is new. In this way, new users are incentivized, and the existing users’ engagement rises.
The lifetime value of a customer can be increased by starting a loyalty program wherein users are awarded points on using the service every time. These points can be redeemed while availing of the services. This gives the user another reason to carry on with your service.
Customer Tracking Program
The inactive customers who have not used the service for a while can be targeted individually with customized offers and discounts. The acquisition of new customers is much more expensive than winning back inactive customers.
Alternative Currencies as Incentives
To enhance the lifetime value further, alternative currencies can be used along with reward points. Offers like giving a discount of 5% on adding funds from the app itself or no cancellation charges, fixed ride rates, etc. can be offered to loyal customers.
All the stakeholders in the system shall be rewarded for getting maximum engagement. One can introduce rewards for drivers like a free health checkup, oil changes, roadside assistance, etc. You can announce different competitions amongst driver-partners to enhance the business to make it fun. You can include the option of adding a tip to the driver for boosting his morale.
The total costs for developing this kind of an App would vary depending on the development location. Hourly development rates are different in different areas. In Europe, it is €50-€70 per hour, $80-$150 per hour in the USA, and $15-$25 per hour in India. The total costs of all three variants of the app would cost around €146,500-€205,100 in Europe, $234,400-$439,500 in the USA, and $43,950-$73,250 in India. However, this cost can be optimized to around $75,000-$80,000 if it is developed by a mobile app development company in India, which is the biggest market for IT outsourcing.