How to Create an App Like Uber: The Process of Building a Taxi App

building a taxi app

Could you imagine your life without smartphones? We mean not using them for calls they were initially designed for. We mean all these apps for communication with friends, dating, hairdressing, cleaning your house, checking weather forecasts, translating from one language to another, getting a taxi through an app, listening to the music and watching videos, along with many others. And it’s just a short list of applications used by users of Android and iOS.

Taxi apps like Uber take an important place in our everyday life, as they make getting from point A to point B much easier for millions of users around the world. Thanks to these services, you can get a ride without calls and long expectations, just in several taps. Such applications are so popular because they:

  • Come in handy when you don’t know your exact address (as GPS determines your location automatically)
  • Provide a direct connection “client-driver” without a dispatcher (which means lower fares)
  • Enable tracking movement of the chosen car
  • Eliminate the necessity of paying in cash
  • Give a chance to compare prices and choose a preferable one
  • Allow to view and influence a driver’s rating

That’s why today we will consider how to make such an app like Uber either in Android or in iOS. Additionally, we will touch upon the specifics of a rideshare app, as well as estimate its potential value for your company and the cost of its development.

How Uber App Works: Taxi Application Inside View

If you wonder how to make a rideshare app, you’d better figured out the basics of such application. Starting with a close look at it from the user’s perspective is a good idea.

Using Uber from the Passenger’s Point of View

To get a ride, a passenger just needs to make a few simple steps:

  1. Download a taxi app from the AppStore or Google Play.
  2. Create a personal account, using just phone number and email.
  3. Add your credit card to enable non-cash payments for your trips.
  4. Choose your destination point by typing the address or place name in the “Where to?” field.
  5. Select the pickup point by moving a pin right on the map.
  6. Track the driver’s arrival and meet him or her on time when they are already nearby.
  7. Check all the details about your ride, such as a car model, number, and wait for a driver confirming your name before starting a trip.
  8. Follow the route in your Uber app while you are on your way.
  9. Rate your trip to share your experience about a particular driver and add him a tip if you consider everything is perfect.

If you want to know how much does it cost to implement all those features and develop an app like Uber, you need to think of a perfect user experience. That’s why we need to see a driver’s perspective too.

Using Uber from the Driver’s Point of View

To start driving, one needs to go through the following steps:

  1. Download Uber to your Android phone or iPhone.
  2. Create your driver’s account and verify your identity by uploading the required documents. If you choose to drive your own car, you will need to provide all the relevant documents for a check as well.
  3. Add your bank account to be able to receive money for your rides.
  4. To take your first ride, open an app after your account is approved and tap on the “GO” button. Uber will automatically scan if there are any trip requests around you and you’ll be able to choose the one you like most.
  5. Drive to your passenger’s location and make sure you pick the right person by asking for his or her name.
  6. Press “Start UberX/PoolSelect/Black/etc.” to activate your trip and start navigation towards the destination point.
  7. View the whole route or activate turn-by-turn directions in Uber navigator.
  8. After the trip is over, you can rate your passenger and check the money transfer to your account. You can withdraw your earnings every week.

To put it simply, the whole process can be divided into 5 steps for both a passenger and a driver: request, matching, ride, payment, and rating. Though it may seem so easy to implement these 5 steps, the development of a taxi app is much more complicated. We will share our own experience later on and now let’s consider the Uber’s business model.

What is Uber’s Business Model?

To better understand the principles of how to make an app like Uber in Android or iOS environment, let’s see what its business model is:

build an app like uber

This can serve a model for your own taxi app if you are thinking about its development. All in all, the better research you conduct beforehand, the higher are the chances of the successful application launch.

A Typical System Architecture of a Taxi App Like Uber

There is a hierarchy of elements that form a structure of providing taxi services. Its back-end part is a server-side system which collects, processes, and sends data to the mobile applications. This data is managed by taxi app developers in administrative panels in the web or desktop apps.

This is a simplified pattern of the described taxi app development structure. To show you a bright example of how this system works, we want to show you the system architecture of the well-known Gett taxi app, developed by us:

system architecture of the taxi app like uber

This system can be divided into 4 parts (from the top to the bottom): database servers, back-end part, front-end part (administrative panel), and mobile applications for drivers and passengers. As you can see, a mobile app is just one of the components of the whole structure. For this reason, you need to have a holistic view of a taxi app and the system on the background if you are considering its development. Because using a taxi app like Uber, you see just the top of the iceberg. And if you wonder how to make your own rideshare app, you will need to dive much deeper.

How to Make a Taxi Booking App Like Uber: Our Experience

The first thing that comes to our mind concerning the question of how to make a taxi booking app is what features will be in your mobile application. A taxi app must be easy to use, so you will need to take care of its intuitive design as well.

Also, if you want to create an app like Uber, you should think of its future promotion. How will you convince the users that your application is effective and they need it? How do you stand out from the competition?

As far as Uber-like app development will presuppose two separate applications for a passenger and a driver, mind they should have different functions but the same look and feel. In addition, you will need to choose a platform for your app―Android and/or iOS.

When all the preparation stages are completed, think through and write down all the parts of the system. Here taxi app developers do their best to eliminate possible technical imperfections and to improve the quality of their app.

The Features Essential for the Taxi App

As we have already mentioned, when you want to create an app which will be like Uber, you will need two of them: for a driver and for a user, according to the structure of a taxi ordering system. Both of them should include a list of the must-have features, listed below.

App localization in several languages

If you plan to launch more than in one country, you should pay specific attention to this point. In different languages, one and the same phrase can be longer/shorter, which can impact the interface design. Moreover, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean localizations can totally change the logic of the application. That is why you should take it into account even before you start thinking about how to make an app like Uber.

Trip routing with a clear definition of addresses

This means you will need to enable GPS and integrate your application with external maps or to develop your own ones (the second option will be like reinventing the wheel, but you can try it if you have lots of free time and money). Needless to say that navigation is an essential part of an app which offers car services, as it allows to determine the location of both driver and passenger, match them, and build an optimal route from one address to another.

Taximeter for an automatic price determination

Based on distance and time, taximeters calculate the fare for your trip. That’s why they are important for a rideshare application.

Taxi arrival time indication

This option is crucial in two cases: when a passenger waits for a driver and when they are already on their way. The first one allows to see when exactly your car will be at your pickup point, while the second enables approximate estimation of when you’ll get to the destination point. That’s why this feature was included in the Uber app architecture.

Despite these common features, taxi apps for passengers and drivers are still very different in terms of their goals, user stories, and functionality that needs to be presented in the application like Uber, Gett, or Lyft. Let’s review the possible additional features for both a passenger and a driver.

The Features For a Driver

If you are thinking about how to make an app which will be as successful as Uber is, you should take care of the convenience for your drivers.

A table of orders and new notifications

Thanks to this feature, the drivers will be able to see the available requests for a ride and choose the trip they would like to take. Timely push notifications will simplify the process of accepting an order.

Navigator/electronic map with trip details

To arrive at the right location, a driver needs to see the exact address. Pickup points are a good idea if you have decided to build an app like Uber.

User’s comments

Not to be surprised when arriving at the starting point, a driver should see if a passenger has any requirements for the capacity and additional equipment (like a child seat, roof rack, rail, box, etc.), which will help to avoid misunderstanding.

The driver’s profile

A driver should have instant access to his or her account balance, statuses of all trips, as well as bonuses he or she will receive. The more transparent the payment procedure is, the more loyal drivers you’ll get.

The Features For a Passenger

As far as passengers are of no less importance than your drivers, you should think about what features they want to see in a taxi app. We suggest focussing on those listed below if you are considering the development of the Uber-like app.

Online map with the nearest taxis indication

Such an option allows to see if there are any cars available nearby and estimate the approximate waiting time.

The info about each taxi

This helps a passenger to choose a car he or she likes the most, based on the following factors: price, distance, number of seats, driver’s language, driver’s rating, availability of fasteners for bicycle transport, etc.

The possibility to leave a review about a trip

It’s great if all of your customers are happy and leave only positive reviews about your drivers and service. But in real life, if you wonder how to make a taxi app, you should be ready that some of the passengers will want to file a complaint, request a refund, or contact an administrator. Include these options to your application in order to make them at least a bit happier.

“My addresses”

A possibility to choose one of the most attended addresses is much better than typing it each time you need a ride. This can be especially helpful when your passengers come back from the party.

Travel history

This includes not only the fare and route but also the opportunity to repeat the trip if the passenger liked the driver or their car.

To sum it up, you’ll need to start your taxi booking app development with the following set of minimal features:

  • GPS for routing
  • Personal data collection and management
  • In-app calls and texting
  • Push notifications
  • Cost estimation
  • Payment systems integration

Now that we are done with the basic features for all of your customers, let’s have a look at how to create an app like Uber, based on some real-life examples.

Examples of a Successful Taxi App Development

No one will argue that today Uber is the most prominent ridesharing application. Still, there are the other Uber clone apps, like Gett and Lyft. Even though they are less popular, we strongly recommend analyzing the experience of all the existing solutions before building your own one. So, if a question “How to make a prominent taxi app the users will like?” comes to your mind, be sure to have a close look at how the others did it.

Uber

Uber is an application that helps drivers and passengers to find each other in a few minutes and quickly and reliably move around the city at any time of the day or night. One doesn’t need to park, wait for a taxi, or a bus. With Uber, everybody can book a car with one touch. Moreover, it’s easy to pay with a card or cash in the specified cities (and Uber is available in over 500 cities all over the world, which makes traveling much more comfortable).

Thus, one can easily say Uber is the solution for all occasions for trips to/from the airport or around the city.

Here are the main advantages of the Uber taxi service:

  • Fast on-demand pickups
  • Comfort-class cars
  • Reasonable fares
  • Quick trip: a driver cannot deviate from the route or take other passengers (if this is not a UberPool service)
  • No cash needed
  • UberPool service: possibility to share a taxi with other passengers to save money

Despite its convenience for both drivers and passengers, recently Uber has started losing its good reputation because of the lack of security. There are more and more criminal cases, verbal abuses, and sometimes even attacks. This mess has caused Uber to be banned fully or partially across many cities in various countries worldwide.

Here’s why more and more businesses start thinking over how to build a taxi app which will be convenient like Uber but without repeating its mistakes.

Lyft

One of the main Uber alternatives in the United States is Lyft. It is used in more than 60 cities. Going with Lyft is as safe as possible: in addition to valid rights, the administration of Lyft demands from drivers to provide a certificate from the DMV road transport department, a biography, a confirmation of the absence of previous convictions or serious offenses.

The application’s interface looks like Uber’s: users see movements of cars and details about a driver. There are three price categories―Lyft, Lyft Premier, and Lyft Line. A passenger can also order Lyft Plus for a company of six people. The application is designed for both Android and iOS.

So, if you consider the development of a similar taxi booking app, be sure to add Lyft to your list of competitors.

Gett

Another popular example of Uber-like app development is Gett (used to be Get Taxi before). Our company participated in the development of this application, so we know well how the influencers of mobile taxi services were born. It is one of the fastest developing services in the United States. It is used in more than 100 cities all over the world, including New York, London, Moscow, and Tel Aviv.

Gett is famous for its low prices. For example, one kilometer will cost about 25 cents in New York. In the Gett app, you can see the time of arrival and information about a driver. Taxi drivers are required to get a license and to pass a preliminary check.

When we developed the Gett app, we tried to make each trip as much comfortable as possible and took into account Uber system architecture.

Hailo

Hailo is a United Kingdom-oriented riding service. Its particular feature is a possibility to book a taxi for others, for example, for your friend arriving at an airport. Hailo for Business allows premium clients to travel in business-class cars.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App Like Uber?

We would like to start with a disclaimer: even though we have experience of a taxi booking app development, we cannot tell you the exact Uber app development cost. But at least, we can give an approximate estimation, based on the stack of technologies.

As we have already mentioned, a typical rideshare app you want to make will need mobile, web, and back-end developers. In addition, the required resources will include designers and QA engineers for testing. Depending on what country your developers are from, the cost of Uber-like app development can also vary, from $20/per hour in India up to $150/per hour in the USA or UK.

In this chart, you can see how each of the features influences the total price and understand how much does it cost to develop an app like Uber, at least approximately.

how much does it cost to develop an app like uber

As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to the development of a taxi booking app. The final price you pay depends solely on the feature you want to see in your application and on the specialists you hire to work on it. Here’s why if you want to develop an app like Uber, you will need to conduct a small research on how much does it cost on your own. This will help you to find out not only the most favorable pricing model but also the team of experts you can rely on.

Summary: How to Make Taxi Apps Like Uber

The process of building taxi apps is very difficult and time-consuming. The main advice for taxi app entrepreneurs and those having an idea to create an app like Uber is to try and choose a software development company experienced in taxi app development. Such a company will have developers with relevant experience on board as well as the knowledge of typical problems that may occur on the way and how to avoid or fix them.

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