How to Create an App like Uber: Similar or Better

  • November 20, 2018
  • By priyanka negi

Can you improve the quality of an existing service and make the next innovation in on-demand service? If so, then you might be the next Uber. But to develop an App like Uber and get traction on the Android and Apple app store is no walk in the park. In order to grab a large market share in the ride-hailing industry, you need to offer frictionless access, great experience to both customers and drivers, and a strong brand.

No wonder when Travis Kalanick got his big idea –Uber, one of the first people he wanted to hire was a product manager.

Although this article can’t provide you with a product manager, what it can do is – help you understand how to create an app like Uber.

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How It All Started?

Uber was launched in 2010 and within the first six months it had a user-base of 6000 customers and had already provided 20,000 rides.

Source: Business Insider

Wow, that’s impressive but how was Uber able to achieve this. Well, it had a lot to do with the strategy that Uber used. Let’s have a quick look at how they were able to create a buzz in the market.

Soon after the Uber kick-start, the marketplace founders needed to attract both customers and drivers in order to make their Business model work. But it was difficult to convince any driver to enroll with them without any customers and similarly it was almost impossible to convince any customers to use their service without any drivers. They were stuck in the classic ‘chicken-or-egg’ problem.

So to break into the market, the founders of Uber decided to launch their service in San Francisco, whose majority of the population is tech-savvy – which they rightly anticipated being receptive of their disruptive technology. Then they managed to get the word of mouth publicity in the tech communities by hosting and sponsoring tech events and giving free rides to the participants to the events.

Uber had a brilliant marketing strategy and their business model can be applied to any other industry as well.

So let’s have a look at how you can develop an app like Uber as well.

How Uber works:

I am sure you are well aware of how a cab is booked using Uber.

The process looks something like this. You open the Uber App and enter the pick-up and drop location. Then, Uber finds a nearby driver and shows you the estimated time of the cab’s arrival.

When the driver has dropped you to your destination, you are able to see the total fare and you can pay it via Cash or Credit/Debit Card from the app itself. And then finally, Uber asks you to rate the driver and share the feedback of your ride.

Sounds simple, right? Before you answer this, let’s have a look at what goes on behind the scenes to accomplish this:

The Uber system comprises of three different users: Customer, Driver, and the Admin. Each of these users interacts with the Uber system with the following interfaces:

  • Driver -Mobile app
  • Customer – Mobile app
  • Admin – Webapp

Each of these interfaces has their own set of features that are tailored as per the needs of that particular type of user.

There are some features that are essential to launching an app. These features are called the Minimal Viable Features. And then, there are some features that enhance the user experience but are not essential to make an app work. We’ll call such features as the advanced features.

So let’s have a look at the Minimum Viable Feature that you will need in order to launch an app like Uber and some advanced features that you can incorporate to enhance the user’s experience and how each of these features works:

Customer App Features:

Minimum Viable Features

Sign Up Interface

The User should be able to directly register on the app using their existing profiles on social networks accounts or through their mobile number/email id.

Booking Interface

The user can book a cab by manually entering the address for the pickup or they can let the app use their current geo-location. The app should then show all the available cabs nearby.

Fare Estimation

The passenger should be able to view the estimated fare while booking the rides. The fare will be calculated by the algorithm that has been coded in the app.

Push notifications

The app should send the user Push-Notifications when the driver accepts their booking request, when the ride starts and when the ride ends.

Track a Ride

The app should allow the users to track their assigned drivers on Google Maps once the driver has accepted their booking request.

This feature relies on mapping and geo-location in order to fetch how far the driver is from the user’s location.

Panic Button

To ensure the passengers’ security, Uber has introduced the ‘Panic Button’. This feature allows the users to send a notification to the nearest police station, family member and Uber Authority by pressing the Panic Button if they feel they are in danger. So as soon as the passenger boards the cab, the Panic button becomes available in their app.

You should have a similar feature in your app as well to ensure the security of the users.

Ride History

The app should allow users to view the details of their previous rides. The details should involve the following fields: Pickup location, Destination, Route detail, and Fare.

Multiple Modes of Payment

For making payment hassle free and making taxi hailing ecosystem user-friendly for their customer, Uber provides multiple payments mode to pay the fare.

In order to implement this feature, you should integrate a Payment Gateway in your mobile app so that the users are able to make payment via the app using their credit card, debit card, etc. The user should also have an option to pay via Cash.

Review and rating

The user should be able to review and rate the cab driver once the ride is completed. The user should also be able to leave a feedback about the ride.

Advanced Features

Book Now &Ride later

Book now & ride later is an advanced feature in Uber that allows the passengers to schedule their rides in advance.

Once the booking has been confirmed, the user receives the notification of the same and the driver detail is shared before 30 min of the scheduled time.

You can also implement this feature to improve the user experience.

Book for Others

This is another advanced feature that is similar to book now & ride later. The passenger can book ride for their friends and family using their own account, and the driver detail and confirmation is sent to the rider by SMS.

Favorite Destinations

When the passenger has to travel to the same location day in and day out, they should be able to save that destination and select it on a single tap. This advanced feature can be implemented if your budget permits.

Split Charges

When the passenger is traveling with their friend, they should be able to split the fare and pay individually on the basis of the charges of their ride.

Driver App Features

Minimum Viable Features

Driver Sign up

In order to partner with your service, the cab driver will have to sign up from the app and upload the valid documents to get approved by the admin.

Booking alert (push notification)

The app should send the driver Push-Notifications when the passenger raises their booking request, when the ride starts and when the ride ends.

Navigation & mapping

The app tracks the location entered by the passenger and provides the best route for the trip with the help of Google maps.

Route optimization:

It helps the driver to take the most efficient route so they can reach the destination in the shortest possible time. The driver can reroute the whole journey and can navigate efficiently to the path.

Quest earnings

The quest earning is for the drivers to earn extra money by fulfilling the number of rides that are predefined. The driver can complete the quest and win the additional money.

Driver Delivery Reports

In order to assure the safety of passenger and driver, app should have driver delivery report system. In this report, there should be a summary of the driving style of the driver during the entire week or month. If the driver found continues to drive rash, then admin can remove the driver from the service.

If the driver is driving smoothly then he could be made a trainer for the newbie.

Advanced Features

Driver Destination

The driver can choose to take a ride to their preferred destination. This feature can be used by the driver when they want to make money while going to their preferred destination.

Heat Maps

It is basically the cheat sheet by the Uber for drivers. Heatmap is a map view of demand. The driver can know where the ratio of the passenger is high, so they can move to the location to get request easily from the passengers.

Forward Dispatch

It allows the driver to accept the request from the passenger while they are still completing their current ride. This benefits them to cut the idle time and gain extra money.

These are some of the features that you can have while launching an Uber-like app.

Some Important Things To Keep In Mind

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

Apart, from this other important elements to keep in mind are:

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

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

We can break-down the App Development process for developing an app like Uber into the following components:

  • Design
  • Native iOS and Android App Development
  • Backend development
  • Web development
  • Project management
  • Quality assurance

We cannot provide you with an exact cost for developing an app like Uber, as different app development agencies have different hourly rates, but we can provide you with a general estimate in which we can develop an Uber-like app for you:

  • If we consider the most basic version of the app with only the MVP features and clean UI/UX design, it could cost around $10,000 to $15,000 for development.
  • If we consider a blend of Minimum Viable Features along with some advanced features, the price can increase to somewhere between $15,000-$25,000.
  • If we consider the app to be developed with complete advanced features, then the price can rise to as high as $25,000 to $40,000.

In case you have concerns and queries about getting an Uber-like app developed, feel free to reach out to us. We would be more than happy to consult you on the best way to proceed ahead with the same as we have extensive experience in developing apps like Uber.

Do let us know if this article was helpful to you in the comments section below. Cheers!

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priyanka negi
priyanka negi

Priyanka Negi is a content specialist who works as a technical writer at MobileCoderz Technologies. She holds remarkable experience in SEO writing for several industrial domains. Her adeptness in technical writing is backed by a proven track record of being a prominent professional in the IT industry.

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