The Ultimate Guide to Build an on demand Taxi Booking App Like Uber with Cost and Features
Getting into a car with a stranger would have been considered dangerous a decade ago.
Today, UBER has made on-demand taxi-hailing a lifestyle — one that we cannot live without. On-demand taxi hailing is a proven business model. Claim a stake of the market by building an on-demand taxi booking app like UBER.
The Uber story so far
Like most inventions and innovations of the world, the story of UBER — the on-demand taxi booking app is also one that was born out of necessity.
On a cold winter night, after attending the LeWeb tech conference, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had terrible luck finding a cab. The duo, who in the past have built, launched and sold several startups were stuck by an idea to create a timeshare limo service that could be ordered via an app.
Although the pair went separate ways after that winter night, Camp got fixated by the idea and built a prototype as a side project. He also got the domain UberCab, which would later become UBER of the world. He persuaded Kalanick to join as UberCab’s ‘Chief Incubator’.
UberCab slowly took form as a startup whose mission was to build a mobile app through which users can hail a cab ride right from their real-time location identified by their phone’s GPS system. The cost of the cab ride would be automatically charged to the user’s account created in the account. The convenience of hailing a cab and the ease of payment catapulted UberCab to instant popularity. The startup subsequently won its first major funding for $1.25 Million from First Round Capital in October 2010.
After facing some administrative backlash for including the term ‘cab’ in their domain, the startup changed its name to ‘UBER’, which by now, has become the term for any instant service. The UBER for restaurants. The UBER for moviegoers. The UBER for conference halls. The list is literally endless.
Uber’s growth story in numbers
In the due process of building a globe-spanning cab-hailing company, UBER has also managed to create some numbers that prove that on-demand taxi-hailing to be a huge industry of its own.
Some UBER statistics that prove the popularity of on-demand taxi booking are as below:
- UBER is made up of 3.9 Million drivers who ferry almost 99 Million riders globally
- By December 2018, UBER had completed 10 Billion successful rides
- Currently, UBER operates in 63 countries and 700 global cities
- With more than 3.5 million users, the UK is the biggest European market for UBER
- There are over 22,000 employees at Uber
- By December 2018, Uber app had 155 million downloads globally
How did Uber create an industry of its own?
Part of UBER’s growth story relies on the app’s success. It is the user-friendliness and quick availability of cabs that have made UBER into a global success story. UBER makes the task of booking a cab instantly look so easy.
Here is a quick summary of how the UBER app works to connect passengers to nearby located cabs.
- User downloads the UBER from Android or iTunes.
- The user enters the intended destination in the ‘Where to?” box in the UBER app
- Depending on the distance and time of booking, the fare is displayed in the app interface
- The GPS system in the user’s phone tracks the real-time location and updates the pickup location
- The UBER app works in the backend to match the passenger’s location to nearby cabs that area available for the ride
- The most closest cab is assigned to the ride
- The cab driver gets a notification in his smartphone along with directions to the passenger
- The cab driver drives to the passenger’s location to pick them up
- The passenger can identify the cab with the help of the registration number and driver information provided at the time of booking
- Upon ride completion, the fare is debited to the user’s UBER account. Alternatively, in some countries, users can also pay the fare in cash
- UBER also has a feedback system wherein passengers are requested to rate the ride on a scale 1 to 5 stars
Why create an app like Uber?
If you own a fleet of cabs or are planning to get into the cab aggregator business, a white-label taxi booking app development like UBER can make a world of a difference. It can give complete control over your taxi app business including admin control and privileges.
Furthermore, there is no need to share commission or revenue with the app owner. The entire earning after cab driver charges belongs to you.
How to build a taxi-booking app like UBER?
Thanks to the widespread availability of mobile app development libraries and SDKs, now building an on-demand taxi-booking app like UBER is no longer rocket science. Moreover, there are several top-notch mobile app development companies that help build the app with any kind of customizations. The only caveat is that you must know what kind of features are required to make it a success in the app store leaderboards.
Before getting started with building an on-demand taxi-booking app like UBER, you must have the following ready and handy:
- The business logic behind the app
- Features and functionalities for passengers, drivers and admins
- Tech stack and mobile platforms where the app will be launched
- Possible revenue streams through which the app will be monetized
- Cost to build a mobile app like UBER
Remember, your idea should not be to create a clone of UBER. UBER has already conquered the majority of the global market. The need of the hour is a unique taxi-hailing app idea that could do better than UBER. It is here that a top-notch mobile app development company can make a difference.
That said, here are some must-have features you can start with while building an UBER like a mobile app.
To keep things simple and to understand the app building process from a bird’s eye view, we can segregate the features meant for passengers, drivers and admins.
Features for Passengers
1. Social Media Login: The app should allow users to quickly create an account and log in with their social media profiles. Facebook, Google and Twitter are the most popular social media channels.
2. Real-Time Location: The app should request users to allow tracking the device’s real-time GPS location to connect them to the nearest cab driver.
3. Ride Booking: Users should be able to book rides for inter-city rides, intra-city rides, long-distance rides and much more.
4. Fare Estimation: The app should intimate users of the tentative fare amount that the user will have to pay on the conclusion of the ride.
5. Cab Selection: Depending on the number of passengers and the level of comfort expected, users can select from hatchbacks for a single passenger to SUVs that can ferry several passengers at once.
6. Call and Message Driver: Once the booking is confirmed, users can call the driver right from the booking confirmation message. Alternatively, they can also message the driver with specific instructions, if any.
7. Driver Tracking: Real-time GPS enabled in the driver’s device would be synced via the cloud. This makes it possible for the user to see the driver’s real-time progress and the estimated arrival time at the pickup location.
8. Push Notifications: Every time a ride is confirmed, the driver arrives at the chosen location, ride completion, etc. users will be notified via app push notifications.
9. Booking Ride History: Users can track down all previous rides that they have completed with the app. They can book the same route again or use the details for booking cabs for another user.
10. Ride Rating & Review: Upon completion of the ride, the passenger can be requested to leave a star rating on a scale of 5 or a text review, or both to record the quality of the ride and the driver’s service.
11. Digital Wallets: Built-in digital wallets which passengers can load with any chosen denomination of money. The same can be used to pay for completed rides or even to book rides for others.
12. Book for Others: The taxi-hailing app can be used to make taxi bookings for near and dear ones of the user who don’t have access to the app.
13. Loyalty Points: For every completed ride, the passenger can be rewarded with loyalty points. They can be redeemed as discounts on future ride fares or as loyalty points that can be redeemed elsewhere.
14. SOS: Emergency SOS widget within the app that lets passengers reach out for help in case of any exigencies during the ride.
Features for Drivers
1. Toggle Availability: Drivers can toggle between ‘ACTIVE’, or ‘INACTIVE’ status. Custom status messages can also be created if required.
2. New Ride Alert: Drivers will be alerted in the app of new rides that should be taken up once the current ride is completed. All details about the ride like passenger name, destination and estimated fare amount will be displayed.
3. Accept and Reject Ride: Upon toggling their status as “ACTIVE’, drivers can take or reject rides that are assigned to them.
4. In-built Navigation: The app will have GPS-enabled real-time navigation that allows drivers to navigate their way to the exact location of the passenger and destination.
5. Call Routing: Drivers can call passengers from within the app. The call can be routed a centralized phone system that is authorized and monitored by the admin. The personal number of the driver need not be disclosed.
6. Earnings Estimate: An estimate of rides completed and the fare earned thereupon after commission deductions by the admin can be seen in the driver’s profile dashboard.
7. Forward Dispatch: Drivers can accept new rides even when the current ride is progressing or nearing completion. This helps them maximize their earnings without having to lose time between rides.
8. Review and Rating: Drivers can rate and review customers who have travelled in their cabs. This helps admins create a database of top-rated customers as well as unruly ones who could possibly be barred from future services.
9. Background Verification: Drivers can upload and submit their background verification documents like driver’s license, government issued personal ID, vehicle insurance, registration certificate, vehicle fitness certificate and much more through the app.
Features for Admins
1. Fleet management: Admins can add, edit or remove drivers and cabs from their fleets. They can create separate fleets based on car category, service category, location and so on.
2. Comprehensive Dashboard: A single well-decked dashboard that spews real-time information about ongoing rides, earnings for the day, available cabs, user complaints and much more.
3. Customer Support Module: A dedicated customer support module where customer complaints from all channels are gathered for resolution.
4. Driver to Passenger Match: Location-based cab-passenger matching system that helps take the nearest available cab to the passenger’s location.
5. Surge Pricing: Dynamic pricing that allows admins to fix prices according to market demand, peak hours, midnight hours and so on.
6. Reporting & Analytics: Built-in reporting and analytics tool that allows for creating insightful reports about business performance and customer ratings.
7. Heat Map: Admins can see the most used features of the app with the help of a heat map that tracks user taps and workflows.
8. Driver Management: Admin can moderate driver profiles as registered, verified or barred. Registered drivers can be moved to verified once the background verification is complete.
9. Promotion Management: Timely roll out of discount coupons, promo codes, special rates, etc. can be planned and managed from the admin dashboard.
10. Driver Payment Request & Payoffs: Admins can see driver payout requests, paid request and pending payoffs from the financial reporting dashboard.
11. Notification Management: Admins can set up time-based or trigger-based notifications for confirmed bookings, complete rides, promotions, new rides, cab availability and much more.
Technology stack for a Uber like taxi app
The right choice of the tech stack is what makes or breaks a mobile application. To build a dynamic taxi booking mobile app like UBER, a robust tech stack is required. Here are some suggested tech stack for the Uber app that are considered to be the best for the purpose.
- Cloud: Amazon Aurora or MySQL
- Payment Gateway: Stripe, PayPal (Braintree), etc and for saving cards- Card.io
- Location: CoreLocation, Google Location API, Mapbox location picker
- Map and Navigation: MapKit, Mapbox, Google Map service
- SMS and Call: Twilio and TokBox
- Push Notifications: Firebase
- Real-Time Analytics: Google Analytics
- Programing Language: Java and Kotlin for Android. Swift, Objective C for iOS
- Backend: Codeigniter (Backend API), AngularJS (Backend UI), Node JS (Socket and Application API)
How much does it cost to build an app like Uber?
Any rational business decision will be taken based on cost estimates. The very decision of whether to take up a project or abandon is dependent on the cost. Naturally, it is necessary to estimate the cost required to build an app like UBER.
Here is a brief estimate of how much it could cost you.
We can break down the cost estimate for building the app into several modules. For example, the cost can be computed at the user app level, driver app and admin app. Along with these modules, the cost for UI/UX development, quality assurance and project management must also be added.
To simplify the calculation a rate per hour approach can be taken. The table below estimates the approximate number of hours required for each development phase of the app.
No. of hours
TOTAL no: of Hours (approximated)
Assuming the average rate per hour charged is £20, then the cost to build the app will be:
1550 hours * £20 = £30000.
To get an exact value, replace £20 with the quoted rate per hour.
Start building your Uber app
Before you start pulling your gear to build the taxi-hailing app, here is a stat that you must know. 9 out of 10 startups fail.
Do you know why? Quite often, they build an app or a service that does not have a feasible market.
Now, there is a way to beat such a fate to your app idea. It is by building an MVP. an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) allows a business to test its idea, measure its market feasibility and economic viability before going full-on with development.
We suggest that you build your MVP as well before going on the build a complete UBER app. Need help with building an MVP for your UBER app? Let Intelivita help you.
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