How to Build an app like Uber?by@mayankpratapeb
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How to Build an app like Uber?

by Mayank PratapJuly 27th, 2018
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Taxi service was once a royalty, ‘<a href="" target="_blank">Uber</a>‘ made it a need by making it affordable. Not only did Uber disrupt the traditional taxi service, but also impeded the way people carry out their business.
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What Every Aspiring On-demand Business Should Know Before Developing a Mobile App like Uber!

Image Source

Taxi service was once a royalty, ‘Uber‘ made it a need by making it affordable. Not only did Uber disrupt the traditional taxi service, but also impeded the way people carry out their business.

Today, Uber’s on-demand service model can be applied to almost all the industries and their niches. It is not exaggerating to say that the demand for an on-demand solution is increasing with every passing day. People optimize their power of imagination and conceptualize a fairly unforeseen niche with an on-demand solution.

Uber started its disruption with an iOS app. Initially, Uber could only book the rides for the customers. With time, Uber delivered luxury cab services with the launch of Uber Black.

Uber Black allowed the user to choose the ride as per their preference from a wide range of luxury cars. However, it only managed to please the upper class and Uber had the solution to lure all the sections of the society.

UberX came up with a promise to charge what’s right and became a default cab hailing service for most of the people. But Uber had more plans to enhance the customer experience and this came in the form of UberPool.

Having explored all the ways to please its customers, it is planning to make a leap in the sky with UberCopter!

What makes this rise in the Uber clone business so obvious?

Uber — Image Source

The basis of the on-demand business model is the aggravation of demand and planning a supply to meet the demand.

However, the right approach to planning for an ‘Uber like’ app development is :

  • Dive into the industry with a Primitive Approach.
  • Build a sustainable model to aggregate the demand in the form of a mobile app for the service providers and the customers.
  • Meet this demand of the customers with a distributed supply chain management.
  • Retain your customers.

But what makes Uber different from other taxi-services?

The thoughtful features of Uber!

Plan the features for your Uber-like mobile app, the Uber Way

Features of Uber-like Mobile App — Image Source

Not many to-be Uber businesses know that basically Uber is made up of three mobile applications:

  • The admin app
  • The driver app
  • The customer app

Each of these stakeholders has their own set of features. For your ease to understand each of these features, I have jotted down the features in different categories:

  • Most Viable Features
  • Advanced Features

Let us first take a look at the features that build up the billion-dollar taxi-hailing company, Uber.

Customer App Features:

Customer App Features

Track a Ride

Uber provides an option for its passenger to track a ride after they have booked their ride. What happens is, after the passenger enters the pickup and drop location, the driver accepts the ride request and approaches to the pickup location.

To find out how far the driver is from the location, the passengers can track them by using the map integrated into the app.

Fare Estimation

The Passengers are able to draw a fare estimate for their ride on the basis of their pickup and drop location.

The fare also varies as per the selection the car chosen for the ride. When the passenger stops at multiple destinations in between his pickup and drop location, it gets calculated at the end of the ride with the help of the powerful Uber algorithm.

Multiple Modes of Payment

For making the taxi-hailing ecosystem user-friendly for the customers, Uber provides multiple modes of payment to choose from for paying the fare.

The passengers can select any type of payment, e.g. credit card, debit card, cash, mobile wallets, etc.

Track Service History

For the passengers who commute on daily basis, Uber has a feature called Track service history. With the help of service history, the passengers can get details about their rides in a specific period.

The passengers can view any dates and the entire service history details will be available for them in the form of a report.

Book Now Ride later

Book Now Ride Later is an advanced feature of Uber. It allows the passengers to schedule their rides before the actual time of the ride.

Once done, the passengers get a confirmation. The passengers get the driver’s details before an hour of their scheduled ride and they can track the ride.

Book for Others

Similar to Book Now Ride Later, Book for others is an advanced feature for the passenger app. The passengers can book a ride for their friends and families by using their own account.

After the booking is made, the passenger gets all the details about the ride and an SMS is delivered to the rider. Here, the tracking can also be done by using the link present in the SMS.

Smart Wallets

Smart Wallets Gif — Image Source

Uber provides a smart wallet to its passengers for paying the fare. The passengers integrate these smart wallets with their bank accounts and transfer a certain amount of money.

The passengers can directly make their payments using the mobile wallets.

Panic Button

To ensure the security of the passengers, Uber has taken measures in the form of a panic button. As soon as the passenger is on-board, a panic button gets enabled in the mobile app of the passenger.

When the passengers feel threatened or sense danger, they can press the panic button. This sends a notification to the nearest police station, the Uber authorities, and the family members of the passengers.

Favourite Destinations

The favorite destination is an advanced feature for the passenger app. When the passengers have to travel to the same destinations day-in and day-out, they can enter the destinations for once and can select it using a single tap.

The passengers can save destinations for their home, office, restaurants, etc.

Split Charges

This is an advanced feature for the passenger application. When the passengers are travelling with their friends, they can split their fare and pay individually on the basis of the charge of the ride and the pickup and drop location of each passenger.

They can split their fare and if they have leveraged mobile wallet, the fare automatically gets deducted from the wallet.

Driver App Features:

Driver App Features — Image Source

Driver Delivery Reports

In order to ensure the safety of the passengers as well the drivers, Uber has a driver delivery report feature. The report is a summary of the driving style of the driver during the entire week, month, etc. If the driver continues to drive rash, Uber can even remove the driver from the service.

On the other hand, if a driver drives smoothly, he becomes the trainer for the newbie Uber drivers.

Route optimization:

Route optimization helps the driver take the most efficient route so that they can reach the destinations in the fastest possible time. The driver can leverage the route optimization feature, reroute the entire journey and can navigate efficiently to the path.

Driver Destinations:

The driver destination is an advanced feature in the Uber’s driver mobile app. The driver can choose to take a ride to his preferred destination. This feature can be used by the drivers when they want to make money and have to reach their destinations.

Quest earnings:

Quest earning is a feature in Uber’s driver app. It helps the driver earn extra money. The quest comes with a pre-defined number of rides that the drivers have to complete in order to win and earn the additional amount.

Shorter 2 Minute Cancellation Window:

Cancel your booking — Image source

Cancellation window is the time that the driver has to wait for the passenger. It is an advanced feature in the driver’s app. When the driver arrives at the location on time, the first 2 minutes are non-chargeable for the passengers.

However, if they take a lot of time, the charging starts and the passengers have to pay for that extra time as well along with the base fare of the ride.

Heat Maps

Heat maps is the advanced feature in an ‘Uber like’ driver app. It is like a cheat sheet for the drivers. Heat maps is basically a map view of the demand. The drivers can know where the ratio of the passengers is high and can move to that location to get requests easily from the passengers.

Forward Dispatch

The forward dispatch is an advanced feature for the driver app. It allows the drivers to accept the request for another ride while they are still completing their current ride.

This helps them to cut down the ideal time and earn a few more extra bucks.

Niches to plan for an ‘Uber like’ app

  • Healthcare
  • Beauty services and on-demand salons
  • On-demand mechanic
  • On-demand gas delivery service
  • On-demand transportation
  • On-demand food delivery service

How to Strategically Build the Features in an Uber-like mobile app?

Image Source

Uber-like app development is a long-term commitment. You need to stay on your toes from the time you start conceptualizing about the idea until the beta the release of the beta version of the app. A smooth way of developing an app like Uber is to plan your development beforehand.

Allow me to help you with the planning of features for building an app similar to Uber:

Basically, there are three categories to start your development. The basic version of the Uber-like mobile app can consist of the most viable features for all the three stakeholders — the admin, the driver, and the passenger.

The advanced version of the app consists of the most advanced features for all the stakeholders. However, this version can be launched once you get a hand over the market.

The third version of the application consists of all the basic features of ‘Uber like’ app for all the stakeholders and some of the advanced features.

Now, it is upon you to decide on how you want to go about with your ‘Uber like’ mobile app.

What should you keep in mind for Building an Uber-like Mobile App

Uber-like App Essentials — Image Source

The ideal way to build an app like Uber is to build a basic version of the app and study the market carefully.

Know what could be the possible innovation for the driver’s and the passenger’s app. Once this is clear, you can proceed with the advanced set of features.

Apart from this, you should always try to attract and retain both the drivers and the customers for a smooth functioning.

While there are many in the app development market claiming to be the pioneers in the industry, not everybody has got that hands-on experience with the on-demand solution.

The key is to research well for your ‘Uber like’ app to ensure that your business is in safe hands.

Apart from this, other important elements to keep in mind while building an app like Uber are:

  • User-friendly navigation
  • Smooth UI/UX designs
  • Pleasing visuals and graphics
  • Real-time functionality

The best way to plan for developing an ‘Uber like’ app is mentioned as the following:

  • Your USP should be your first concern. Afterall, it is going to separate your voice from the noise. Ask yourself as to why do you want to build an app like Uber. What difference are you going to make with it and then proceed with its development?
  • As mentioned earlier, your features are going to be the voice of your brand. It is going to resonate with your end users. Keeping the importance of user-friendly features in mind, plan for your first app release with the most viable features and then scale up your business in the subsequent phases.
  • Demography plays an important role in the launch of a business. Know what demography are you targeting. Promote your app to those users and take feedback. Implement on the feedback provided and come up with innovation the next time.

Uber Analytics — Image Source

What could be the possible Revenue Model for building an app like Uber?

Uber has got no fleet of cars. It only has got the drivers and the passengers to make its revenue.

The possible revenue streams for your ‘Uber like’ app can be:

  • Commission from the drivers
  • Ride fare from the customers
  • Cancellation charges from the customers

Let me walk you through the cost of building an app like Uber.

Cost of Developing a mobile app like Uber:

It is obvious for a businessman to focus on the ROI. And to figure out the expected turnover, you need to know the investment required. To cut it short, let us find out what could be the cost of building an ‘Uber like’ mobile application:

Cost of Developing an App like Uber — Image Source

Influence of features:

Basically, there are three possibilities with which you can develop your Uber-like mobile app.

You might either go with the most viable features, advanced features, or a perfect blend of both the basic and some advanced features.

Influence of operating system:

It is a known fact that iOS app puts a bigger hole in your pocket as compared to that of the Android app. However, it is upon your target audience and their preference of device to select the operating system. The possibility is, your target audience can have an equal ratio and you might have to launch an app for both the platforms.

Influence of technology:

While coding your app in Kotlin would be costlier but trendy, it is upon you to figure out your app development needs. Similarly, you have to make a smarter choice with native and hybrid app development. If you are not technically sound, you can seek assistance from your developers.

Influence of resources:

If you don’t already have a team of hard-headed developers and you are thinking to outsource them, you need to be very careful in your selection process. Look out for the case studies and experience. Compare the cost of the app development and then make a decision.

While different app development companies have their own variables, there is quite an ambiguity in the cost of developing an ‘Uber like’ mobile app. So, an exact figure cannot be determined but to give you a rough idea about the estimate, have a look at the following:

  • If we consider the most basic version of the app with only the MVP features and clean UI/UX design, the projected price can go up to $7,500 for development. However, there is very little support and maintenance required.
  • If we consider a blend of basic features along with some advanced features, the price can increase to somewhere between $20,000 to $25,000
  • If we consider the app to be developed with complete advanced features, then the price can rise to as high as $95,000 to $100,000

The smarter way to Outsource Developers for Building an ‘Uber like’ Mobile App

Determine the scope of work and then decide upon the number of resources for building a mobile app like Uber for your business.

There are many different types of pricing model that you could choose from — time-based, scope based, fixed price and fixed time pricing model, or dedicated resource hiring. While some of these models are based on the client’s demand, the others are determined by the app development firm itself.

Dedicated Resource-based Hiring

When opting for a dedicated resource based hiring, ensure that you know the scope of work and that you are not paying for an extra resource.

To develop a basic version of your ‘Uber like’ mobile app, your set of resources will be-

  • UI and UX designer
  • 2–4 developers
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • A Backend Developer
  • A Project Manager

To develop an advanced version of ‘Uber like’ mobile app, you will need a team of –

  • Team Manager/Project Manager
  • UI/UX designer
  • 3–4 developers for each platform
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • 2–3 backend developers
  • Admin panel

Brace yourself to build a disruptive business with Uber-like mobile app

On a scale of ‘Yay’ to ‘Nay’, how helpful did you find this guide? Please share your views in the comment section below and we would appreciate your efforts.

Did we miss out on an aspect or two? We’d love to expand our knowledge.For this well-researched guide custom-made to aid you to develop an app like Uber, help us reach out to more readers by clapping here.

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Read My Other Related Articles

1. How much does it cost to make a Mobile app?, Also on Hackernoon2. How to Build a Dating App? An Ultimate Guide on Dating Mobile App, Also on Hackernoon3. How to Build a Mobile App like Instagram?, Also on Hackernoon4. How to Build an App like Zomato: A Million Dollar Guide, Also on Hackernoon

I am Mayank, Cofounder of EngineerBabu. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn | [email protected] (About EngineerBabu —Medium).

In addition EngineerBabu Help startups, enterprises, and owners to grow their business by building high class IT solutions. 95% of projects developed by them were completed on-time. 30+ funded by VCs, Win most innovative Premier Design Award, selected in Y-Combinator 2016 & 2017.