How to Create an App Like Uber and Lyft? : Cost, Features & More
You could not choose a better time to create an app like Uber than in the 2022-23 market. The aftermath of the COVID pandemic is almost over and the demand for such apps keeps rising. A report by Statista indicates that Uber alone has 93 million users worldwide, while 48.4% of Lyft drivers are satisfied with the benefits the platform provides for their services.
Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft are now the preferred choice of many people for local and out-of-town travel. This group includes working professionals and a rising number of GenZ commuters.
Creating a user-friendly ride-hailing app in this market would bring a large base of customers and significant revenue for your platforms. According to Uber’s financial reports for the first quarter of 2022, its revenue increased by 35% to $26.4 billion in 2022 compared to $25.9 billion in 2021.
With a user base and revenue number like this, the market now believes that building a unique ride-hailing service by taking inspiration from Uber’s business model will help make a lasting impact. However, assuring this would require you to have a well-planned and validated strategy to make an app like Uber. something you can grasp by looking into the market you hope to enter.
How Uber App Works
Uber is now a giant in the ride-hailing app industry and your app will need a unique strategy to compete with and outperform this giant in the market. Learning how Uber serves its customers will give you a competitive edge over the platform. You can focus on providing similar services or more with advanced functionalities.
A customer can choose the type of ride they want as the options include Uber Green, UberX, UberX Saver, UberX Share, Uber Taxi, and Uber Intercity. The cost of the trip is displayed once the customer chooses the pick-up and drop location.
Confirmation from the customer is required to take the request further to the drivers in the nearby areas. The ride gets confirmed once the driver accepts the ride request.
Customers can track the confirmed driver and vehicle after the request is accepted until the driver arrives at the pick-up location.
Customers will need to make the payment after reaching the drop location. Uber payment methods include credit and debit cards, PayPal, Venmo, cash, and Uber gift cards.
Both the customer and driver can rate the experience they had on the ride once it is complete. Drivers with better ratings can create a trustworthy and reliable image on the Uber platform.
Ride Sharing App Platforms
Android has about 2.5 billion users worldwide. Creating an Android app will open your platform to a large customer base.
Apple has about 1 billion iPhone users globally. 1.8 billion users. Making your ride-hailing platform on Android and iOS can quickly increase the user base.
Core Features of a Ride-hailing App
Uber app features include multiple as a ride-hailing app has three different parties involved, the Customer, the Driver, and the Admin. You will need to include them and more as well to increase user engagement and improve user experience.
Features for a Passenger App
The passenger app is for customers that need to book a ride for their trip. It includes functionalities like real-time driver matching, real-time ride updates, verified profiles for further protection, and multiple payment gateways.
An MVP version of your app will only include the core/basic features. Entering a new market with an MVP app is the best approach for a project like this.
This feature helps users register and create their private profiles using email, Facebook, and phone number verifications.
Users can pick from different rides, choose the pick-up and drop location, and request a ride.
Call or Message
A feature that helps users contact the driver directly from the app.
This feature notifies users about ride request status, driver movements and arrival time, pending payment, and driver/vehicle information.
Ride Cost Comparison
Users can compare the costs of the same trip with different vehicles.
Track the Driver
It provides users with the real-time location of drivers until they arrive at the pick-up location.
Multiple Payment Methods
The payment feature will include multiple payment methods like credit or debit cards, PayPal, Venmo, or cash.
Rating and Review
Users can rate the driver based on their trip and leave a review to explain the kind of experience one can expect with the driver.
Travel & History
Users can check their previous rides and payment history here to compare changes in cost or trip experience.
The support feature for customers when they cannot connect with the driver or resolve any other issues about payments, late arrivals, and unacceptable driver behavior.
You can include advanced features after your app succeeds or from the beginning if your budget supports it.
Cancel the Ride
Customers can cancel the ride using this feature in the advanced version of the app. Customer support must handle ride cancellation in the MVP version.
Users can share a ride with other passengers going to the same location and split the fare.
Schedule for Later
Users can pre-book a ride for later using this feature.
Book for Others
A feature that helps users book rides for other passengers like friends and family.
Features for a Driver App
An app for drivers where they can get multiple ride requests and accept them if they can make the trip. Driver app includes real-time locations, trip information, and payment monitoring tools.
A feature to check all the available ride bookings by customers to accept or reject them.
The driver can check the passenger information like name, phone number, and pick-up and drop location.
The app will notify the driver about nearby bookings, pending payments, booking cancellations, and trip completion.
Navigation and Route Optimization
In-build navigation and route optimization powered by Google maps will help the driver find the best route to follow to reach customers and their drop locations faster.
This feature will include information about all trips like received ratings and reviews, locations, and total earnings.
Call or Message
The driver can text or call the passenger from the app regarding any queries.
Cancel Accepted Booking
This feature will help the driver cancel the ride if the passenger provides the wrong pick-up or drop location or for any other valid reason.
Waiting Period Charges
The driver will receive a percentage of the cancellation fee if customers cancel the ride after it is accepted or do not appear at the pick-up location for more than 10 minutes.
The driver can accept another booking if the booking location is the same or nearby to their current drop location.
Heat Maps for Booking Surge
This feature in the driver app will highlight surge locations with multiple ride bookings by passengers.
Features for Admin Panel
The app handler will need a platform with advanced features to monitor and manage customer profiles, new driver applications, driver accounts, user behavior and experience, and app performance. It can include features like passenger control features, statistics, and analytics. A web-based admin panel is best for such operations.
The admin can monitor, track, and keep a record of every trip booking ever made on the app.
The admin can accept or reject a new vehicle and keep track of their movements during work hours. They can also re-verify the vehicle’s condition after a few months or in case of multiple negative reviews.
Admin can manage new and current drivers on the platform with this feature. They may review performance, ratings/reviews, and verify the driving license every few months.
They can monitor and manage user behavior, profiles, reviews, complaints, and customer support for passengers.
The admin can assist drivers with problems related to profile registration, vehicle registration, approval, rejection, locations, and trips.
Monitor Ratings and Reviews
The admin will have to keep an eye on the ratings and review section of the passengers and drivers. It helps identify and remove hateful/unacceptable comments, false information, and suspicious activity.
Discounts and Promotions Management
A feature to add, remove, and manage discounts/promotions on the ride-hailing app.
Google Analytics Integration
The app handler can monitor and review all user interactions on passenger and driver apps and improve accordingly.
This feature will help monitor, review, and process all the payments made on the platform.
The admin should be able to add, modify, and remove FAQs according to the changing requirements of passengers and drivers.
Uber Revenue Model
Uber’s revenue models thrive due to the beneficial aspects of its various services. That is why its revenue has increased significantly in the last few years. You can include similar or more revenue models in your platform to generate revenue in the early stages.
Uber services include a 25% service fee on every payment, and the driver receives the rest. Service fees can vary in different countries and regions.
Uber increases the service fee and fare charges in peak hours or any time there is an increase in ride demand. It is a strategy that only works if the users already find your services satisfactory and reliable.
Users must pay a cancellation fee if they cancel the ride after booking.
Uber promotes the products/services of many brands on the app to provide them access to its large user base.
6 Steps to Build an App Like Uber and Lyft
An active dedication and contribution in every development stage will help you build a unique ride-hailing platform that can keep up with the competition.
Conduct Market Research
Make sure you thoroughly understand the current market of ride-hailing apps. For example, Uber is now at the top of the food chain in the ride-hailing app market. Any step you take or strategy you use must be good enough to survive or perform better than Uber.
Determine the product goals, development strategy, target audiences, essential features, and the app platforms in this stage. Your target audience will most likely be GenZ and Millennials, so a thorough analysis of their online behavior and wants provides helpful insights.
Take surveys and interview the target audience about their expectations from a ride-hailing app. The target audience must also include the current Uber and Lyft app users. Figure out something the target audience would find helpful but do not know they want. For example, a ride-hailing app with categories like prom night rides or pregnant women-specific rides would capture attention.
Choose a Development Team
Creating or hiring the right development team is how an app like Uber became a success. You will also need to be careful and straightforward when choosing your team. Focus on professionalism, dedication, verifiable skills, and relevant experience. They will help you find people best suited for the creativity and skills required to create a successful ride-hailing app in the current market.
You can hire freelancers, an in-house team, or outsource to offshore developers from India or Ukraine. They are currently the most affordable and promising developers in the software industry.
Focus on App Design (UI/UX)
User interface (UI) and User experience (UX) are the ultimate sellers of your app. They are the final pitch that can convince and attach the end users to your app. Study your user base and the type of app design they like to create something unique to sway their minds.
Any major flaw in them will lead to a small user base even if your app provides helpful features/services. Personally interview the UI/UX designers and review/verify their skills and portfolio. Design a User Journey Map, clickable wireframes, visual user interfaces, and motion graphics. The functionality and appearance should be unique and save time when users have to book a ride.
Choose an Effective Development Strategy
You can choose the Agile methodology for the Uber-like app development process. It includes strategic development options like Sprints in the scrum. They help you assess your app from the early days of the development process.
Focus on frequent meetings with the team and investors for taking in input, feedback, and improvement suggestions from everyone. It ensures that everyone involved is on the same page regarding the final goal of your app.
It also helps identify any flaws or additional requirements in the direction chosen for development. A well-planned and managed development process will ensure that your app has what it takes to make a mark in the market.
Monitor the Testing
Ensure that your QA engineers and testers have experience with app functionality standards. Monitor the testing process of your app and conduct it as many times as your budget can support. It would help identify flaws that were overlooked or did not appear until then. Testing and QA assurance are essential to confirm that app functionality (especially the UI/UX) meets user expectations.
You can also include a group of end users in the testing process to get more insightful feedback and a better direction for improvements. The app will be ready to launch once testers and QA engineers approve its use by end users.
Secure Post-launch Support
A crucial requirement after launching your app is support and maintenance. Your ridesharing will need to perform at its best in the first few years after its launch. However, it is common for an app to have bugs and crashes that can affect the user experience. Users will quickly turn to one of your competitors if your app does not work for long or has too many bugs. Secure post-launch support for these bugs, crashes, app updates, and maintenance as and when required.
The best way to manage this is by hiring a development company that provides all-in-one solutions like development, launch, and app maintenance.
Technology Stack to Develop an App Like Uber
Learning how to create an app like Uber requires an extensive understanding of features, design, and the tech stack essential for development. Here you can learn about the required Uber technology stack for geolocation, push notification, and payment gateway:
Geolocation is a vital functionality in any Uber-like app that requires navigation and mapping technologies. Google’s Geolocation API and Places API help with the geolocation functionality in your app to determine user location. The CoreLocation framework in iOS devices does the same job.
You can integrate Google maps with your app to acquire map services from external parties. Google Map API on Android and MapKit on the iOS platform help deliver correct instructions to drivers.
You must include the push notifications functionality in your Uber-like app to improve every process for the passenger and the driver.
You may utilize Apple Push Notification services (APNs) for an iOS platform. It is a cloud service that acts as a third party to transmit notifications to remote devices over a secure connection. FireBase cloud messaging is the recommended option for the Android platform.
Payment Gateway Integration
Your app will need payment APIs like PayPal, Stripe, and Apple pay to make things easier for early users. You can also include payment methods like bank and credit cards, Google pay, and gift cards in your app.
Innovative Technology to Implement in Your Ride-hailing App
Giants like Uber and Lyft have a loyal customer base that will unlikely consider turning to another ride-hailing app unless you provide something unique. You can increase the chances of success by including the latest technology in your ride-hailing app.
Artificial intelligence can modernize your ride-hailing app with chatbots, facial recognition, user authentication, personalized ride recommendations, facial recognition, and predictive analytics. Predictive analytics can use historical data and machine learning to recommend better routes to drivers that will help them reach faster. Some AI-powered IoT devices you can use in your ride-hailing app are ADAS and Vehicle Inspection Alerts.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
ADAS utilizes a combination of AI algorithms and sensor technologies to improve vehicle safety with lane departure warning/correction, pedestrian detection/avoidance, park assist (automated parking), speed control, automated emergency brakes, driver monitoring (to detect drowsiness or head movements caused by sleepiness), adaptive cruise control, better navigation, and forward collision warning/avoidance. Adding and displaying the performance of such technology on the app will assure users of the safety and reliability of your platform.
Vehicle Inspection Alerts
AI-powered vehicles could detect the need for an inspection after several rides or by internal analysis (predictive analytics) of vehicle performance. You can add such technology to send alerts to the driver app to inform them that their vehicle needs an inspection. It could further improve vehicle performance and safety.
Real-time Road Infrastructure Data
You could implement road infrastructure in the app to provide the drivers with real-time information about traffic lights, lane markings, closed freeways/lanes, road maintenance, and toll booths. Such technology integrated with AI could recommend faster and safer routes to drivers.
Real-Time Line Visibility
Real-time line visibility will prove extremely useful to you as the app owners. It includes real-time GPS tracking to help you monitor the vehicles during work hours. You can implement this technology in the admin app to receive driver vehicle data. It will help you prevent late destination arrivals by verifying that the driver stays on the recommended route. The technology will also help you improve driver compliance with the regulations of your ride-hailing platform. For example, you will know if a driver engages in reckless driving or avoids a better route for personal errands.
Multiple Mobile Wallets
Adding multiple mobile payment wallets in the app will provide great convenience to users when they have to make quick payments. Some examples of mobile wallets are Cash App, PayPal, and Venmo. Integrating blockchain technology with your app for wallet payments will further modernize your app.
Being able to pay for rides with cryptocurrencies will attract many Millennials and GenZ users to your app. A survey by Statista revealed that the Blockchain wallet had over 81 million users in 2022. Add mobile payment and blockchain wallet in your app since their users will most likely increase in the future.
Progressive Web Application (PWA)
Progressive web applications are part of changing technology in mobile app development. Developing a PWA ride-hailing app will lower development costs and help you create an app with reliable performance. Some benefits of Progressive web applications are enhanced performance (even with poor internet), quick page loading time, and instant automatic updates. All of these factors are extremely helpful in a ride-hailing app.
How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App Like Uber?
- Number and Type of Features
- App Design
- Developer Location
- App Platforms
You will need to determine each of these factors to have an average estimate of the development cost for your Uber-like app.
Refer to this estimation for the average cost to develop a standard Uber-like app. The advanced app version can cost somewhere between $80,000 to $120,000. The quickest way to help your budget is by outsourcing to offshore developers. You can conduct the same interview and verification process for them as you would for onshore developers. The benefit is that offshore developers provide similar development solutions for much lower costs and in a definite time period.
Building an app like Uber requires you to keep an eye on the ridesharing app market every day. It is essential to survive in a market where a giant like Uber meets all the target audience needs and expectations. Your app platform will need a unique strategy to provide something of real value to customers. It is best to convey such requirements to the development team you hire for the job. They will analyze them with market trends to deliver a ridesharing app that will attract the target audience.
You can also talk to a mobile app development company like us and let us handle the process. Ailoitte will take care of everything from product discovery, development, testing, and post-launch support.
Frequently Asked Questions
Uber is a ride-hailing app that customers can use to book a ride to the location they want to reach. The app assigns nearby drivers to the trip when customers book the ride. The app provides real-time data on the driver and customer location until the driver reaches the pick-up location and takes passengers to their destination.
You choose the pick-up and drop locations, book the ride, the app then assigns a driver for your trip. Users can track the assigned driver until they reach your pick-up location, and you can also contact the drivers through the app to enquire about their whereabouts and help them find the pick-up location. Once they take you to your destination, you can pay and leave a rating or review about your experience.
Customers use the Uber app to book a ride where the driver can pick them up from given locations and drop them at the destination. The app helps by providing real-time location of the driver, customers, and payment gateway to speed up the process.
According to Uber, they use Python, Node. js, Go, and Java.
December 14, 2022
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