Doesn’t matter how awkward it may sound, sometimes clones of well-known startups bring more profits to their developers than their brand new apps. Uber is a good example.
Wherever Uber appears, it ruins the monopoly of local taxi services and gets incredible revenue. At the same time, there are still a lot of regions where the niche is free. Build an app like Uber and launch a company there and you’ll become a king.
It’s not only transportation companies that were affected by Uber triumph. With 110 million users worldwide and $11.3 billion of full-year revenue, Uber turned into a phenomenon for studying and quoting in other B2C fields.
SpotnRides, Gofer and Taxi Hawk are among the most credible and top-selling Uber White Label clones nowadays which work is based on scripts invented by Uber. But they are not the only. An on-demand revenue model developed by Uber is also used by various businesses including babysitting and catering.
Let’s find out how to make an app like Uber, what Uber looks like from the development perspective and calculate your potential out- and incomes.
How Uber Works
In 2009, a company named UberCar was founded by Garrett Camp and Travis the Kalanick. Since then, Uber has transformed the way people travel and has gathered over 77 million passengers as well as 3 million drivers all over the world.
What is the secret of Uber success? It works on the global market with a constant and high demand rate using digital technology that makes it much easier for customers to fulfill their everyday taxi needs.
The service also provides a flexible job opportunity for everyone with a private car. At the same time, it simplifies the taxi booking procedure.
Download an Uber app and you’ll be able to call the taxi with one tap on your phone. Moreover, in most cases, fares are lower comparing to regular taxi and a cab picks you up quicker.
How has it become possible? Uber is a service that is cheaper to support and faster in operating than a classic taxi. It is also more profitable and convenient for drivers who could stay flexible and affect their incomes directly picking the right work schedule.
Uber also gives extra opportunities to passengers. Location tracking and cashless payments are among them. In other words, Uber is demanded due to its unique technical features and well-designed operating model.
How to create an app like Uber? Let’s analyze its user flow.
- Choose where to go using an interactive map
- Quote for the fare (Uber has a dynamic pricing system where the final price is based on current demand for rides)
- Wait for the nearest driver’s respond and see how close the cab is using a map
- Take a ride and pay for it according to the pre-selected option (credit card, online payments, mobile wallet or cash)
- Leave a reference on the driver
- Approve passenger’s request
- Get an instruction on how to get to your passenger and to the requested place
- Get the revenue from each trip and rate passengers within the app
As you’ve probably noticed, Uber servers two groups of users. But rider’s and driver’s apps are far not the all that Uber has. It also has a network of local support offices that are responsible for driver recruiting as well as conflict solving. All of them use the admin dashboard.
Local offices also monitor the regional market and adopt Uber concept to the local conditions and customer mentality. That gives Uber extra flexibility and helps to strengthen its commercial position. That’s why Istanbul Uber with only XL cars doesn’t look like Paris Uber with electric cabs.
The remarkable Uber skill to study local user experience and strive for innovations bore fruit! Besides the basic level of service called UberX, the company developed 25 service models including UberWAV (wheelchair-accessible vehicles), UberPOOL (for picking up other riders on the way somewhere) and UberSUV (sport utility vehicles).
How to Create an App Like Uber: Passenger App
As we’ve already mentioned, Uber is not one but two separate apps. The one serves passengers and the other one is made for drivers. Besides that, there is a web app for Uber managers to solve issues and contact both drivers and passengers. Sounds a bit complicated? Let’s start with essential things and look deeper into Uber passenger app.
Uber passenger app core features
- Registration and profile editing. A user could log in via email or social media account, add credit cards info or choose another preferable payment method. They also need to choose the profile picture otherwise the app will automatically upload pictures from social media accounts.
- Bookings. How to make a rideshare app? Pay attention on a booking flow. The first thing registered users see is a map welcoming to enter the exact address or just tap on the place to go to. Then users need to choose a cab type and approve pickup location, which is usually pre-set automatically.
- Tracking. The app analyzes your location all the time. That’s how it is able to inform you about the price of your trip before you finally call a taxi. Uber app also shows passengers their drivers’ location and makes updates on the ride.
- Price calculator. A passenger could check the estimated cost of his or her ride with a certain vehicle type before booking. Fares always depend on demand but could be reduced with promo coupons.
- Payments. There several options for how a passenger could pay the bill. In some countries, there is a full automatic prepayment rule while in others a user could pay with plain cash without further invoicing. Basically, Uber prefers cashless in-app auto payments and collects invoices inside the app.
- Push notifications. Uber sends to its user driver status updates, time estimates and drivers’ details like car color, model and number.
- Contact and feedback. Despite the fact that you could easily find a driver’s phone number on his or her account, there also some option to reach the driver using the same Uber app. Send messages, call drivers with one tap and then rate and review them when the trip is over.
- Personal profile. A passenger may check his or her booking history and personal ranking, choose another profile picture or the payment method.
Uber passenger app additional features
In some regions, there are some additional services giving by Uber. Here are a few examples.
- Booking in advance. You may call a cab for the specific time. In this case, costs will be calculated just before the trip.
- Share costs. The function is now available in most Uber-covered regions. Find friends’ profile within the Uber app using their phone numbers and split the final bill.
- Rent a scooter, order meals and more. In some big cities like Paris or New-York Uber keeps an electric bike and scooter sharing networks. You may also order some food from the favorite restaurant sending requests to UberEATS drivers.
- Request the favorite driver. The function gives you an opportunity to hire your regular driver if the one is working at the moment. The preferences are based on the scores you gave to the particular driver after your last trip.
- Waitlist. You may find it exhausting to refresh the Uber app over and over again during peak hours. To avoid this irritating action you could add yourself on a waiting list. The app will send you a confirmation when it will be time to.
The number and complexity of app features is a huge factor that influences Uber app development cost. The second important thing is the UX design. The more functions you need to perform the more screens you need to make them visible.
How to create an app like Uber? Speaking about Uber we must admit that its UX priority is to make an in-app user journey clear, pleasant and natural. Big signs, only necessary details on the screen and a few simple interactions between app opening and car booking made Uber app a revolutionary service with nothing redundant. However, the UX / UI simplicity doesn’t mean that fewer hours have been spent on Uber design comparing to another fancy-looking app from the App Store.
Calculating costs, don’t forget that the Uber app works on Android and iOS devices. That means that you need to double costs assigned on features development
LANARS estimates – 900 working hours for one platform (Android or iOS). Acceptable programming languages for UBER backend – Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, or Ruby on Rails. More about estimates find in our article on app costs.
Build an App like Uber: Driver App
Uber driver app was designed for people who would like to get orders and to ride safely to the rider’s destination.
Indifferent to regular Uber app, to become a driver app user one needs to pass Uber tech check and to prove that his or her car satisfies Uber tech requirements and to validate the driver license at Uber office. After the procedures, the driver is ready to use all driver’s app functions.
Core features of the Uber driver app
- Registration and profile editing. A driver needs to pass an online tax number verification and get an official approval from Uber administrator. Then he or she has to upload personal information such as contact phone number and profile picture. It is also necessary to choose a working schedule and switch online mode before the start.
- Bookings. You may be curious how much would your Uber cost. The development costs depend on the complexity of booking features. Drivers could accept or deny incoming orders according to customer location or for personal reasons. When a customer has been accepted and picked up, the driver sees the destination. Booking history and bills are available inside the app.
- Push notifications. Just like their customers, drivers receive alerts such as passenger, location and route details, information on payments and order updates.
- Navigation. Uber interacts with Google Maps and Google Places to build routes and perform directions. It could be voiced or not depending on the driver’s preferences.
- Estimated costs and the earnings tab. The app shows estimated incomes from the trips and summarizes information on all the orders. Usually, drivers receive money once a week (on Monday) and could manage the way they get them. The earnings tab helps Uber drivers to track their earnings by trips, days and weeks.
- Messaging and calls. Drivers have a chance to ask questions calling or texting their clients. They may reach riders to get some additional information about the destination or to let them know about his or her arrival directly.
- Riders ranking. Uber encourages users to leave feedback on each other.
- Driver support. In case of crisis situations such as conflicts between driver and rider or app errors drivers could contact technical support manager from the local office and solve the issue.
As you’ve noticed, most of the features are the same for driver and passenger apps. At the same time, the trick is to match them together and make the system sustainable and almost self-controlled.
There are also some special features available within the driver’s app. If you are trying to understand how to start a business like Uber, analyze its regional bonuses for riders. Some of them make Uber offers really unique.
Uber driver app additional features
- Music. In some regions, riders could connect the drivers’ app being on board and turn on their favorite music during the journey.
- Rewards. Excellent ranking, a huge number of trips or extraordinary feedbacks and even the fact that experienced Uber drivers invited new ones – all this affects the level of their earnings. A driver may use a personal dashboard to track their bonuses.
The driver app is much simpler comparing to the rider’s one. However, it follows the same UX / UI principles such as clarity, simplicity, and digestibility.
Although drivers are usually attracted by functions, but not design features, Uber pays special attention to the driver app design.
The company conducts researches, testings and works with focus groups in various regions constantly trying to keep the leadership everywhere and stay as innovative as it was during the first years of existence.
Both driver and passenger app development consist of components like design, backend development, web development, native app development for Android and iOS, management and QA.
LANARS estimates – 400 working hours for one platform (native app for Android or iOS).
Last thing to create a ridesharing app: admin dashboard
How to make an app like Uber? Think about your service precisely.
Any internet-based service, no matter how well its algorithms are, need an admin panel also called an admin dashboard.
Usually, it is a web application designed to manage the activities inside the app. Admin panel also helps companies to learn their customers, study their preferences and habits, solve crisis issues and make personal propositions.
There are several departments inside the company which interacts with the admin dashboard. Client managers, marketers and developers are among them. Regular users have no access to the tool.
Uber admin panel gives its users the opportunity to make changes inside both driver and rider apps. It also matches and operates general databases.
It is easy to answer the question of how to make a rideshare app knowing the main functions performed by Uber admin dashboard:
- General monitoring. You could get an overview of what’s going on inside the application, including current rides, feedbacks, and requests. If something goes wrong, the admin dashboard lets you know about it.
- Navigation suggestions. Some processes conducted by Uber admin dashboard are pretty much automated. Uber experts could improve main algorithms but they don’t need to do the mechanic work by themselves. A good example is navigation.
- Revenues and payrolls. Another automated process which could be monitored and interacted by somebody from the Uber team is billing. In case of conflict situations or digital errors, the manager could cancel the bill or give money back to the client.
- Forming the database. With the tool, Uber admins could study local user experience and pass the data to marketers in order to improve regional services. Databases also include personal data that could be changed by the owner or the company, trip history and other information.
It is better to start work on the admin panel and native apps at the same time. At the project preparation stage try to figure out what features do you need to perform within the admin panel and what touch points with the client app it has to cover.
LANARS estimates – 250 working hours for web application development.
How to Start a Business Like Uber? Uber Model for Other Type of Business
At first glance, the Uber operating model may look just like one of any other taxi company. Such as everywhere in the taxi field, the only source of Uber revenue is money given to it by riders after (or, rarely before) the trip. But if so, how did Uber manage to reduce taxi fares and at the same time to become the largest taxi operator in the world with more than 1 million rides daily. The answer is on-demand revenue generation model.
Uber uses surge pricing technology which means that cab fares change according to demand. There are two fare-forming factors within the on-demand business model. The first is the number of drivers available at the moment and the second is the number of passengers who would like to get from point A to point B. The effectiveness of the model is predictable: it encourages riders to use Uber as its basic fares are 25% lower than in a regular taxi and it also gives drivers the opportunity to earn more driving during hot periods.
There also other features of the Uber business model that made the business unique. Keep them in mind if you plan Uber-like app development:
Immediate screen-to-screen service
In fact, Uber business model is applicable for any person-to-person business starting from logistics, hairdresser services, and babysitting.
The key is digital simplicity. The main value of Uber is drivers and technologies. If your team already consists of skilled members, the only thing you need is to create a tool for customers to book their time. Make it simple, understandable and attractive just like Uber which immediately informs its riders about fares and sends you details about future ride without special requests.
Good examples of Uber-model business – house cleaning service Handy, home message service Soothe, and Poppy babysitting company.
Over 25 cab options and other demanded services
How to start a business like Uber? Expand your horizons! Uber is extremely flexible. Although everybody knows it as a taxi service, depending on the region it offers you other demanded things like food delivery, bicycle for rent, and even ice-cream!
Uber company works with demanded services connected with transportations. It doesn’t restrict itself with cabs of a specific type or even specific vehicles. You may book UberBLACK and drive in a black business car or book an UberBOAT and investigate the city from the water.
Easy payment procedure
The security level is also important for Uber as the service is mainly based on immediate payments with user pre-confirmation. A reliable payments system turns Uber into a more convenient tool to get to the desired destination comparing to a regular taxi cab that could have no terminal for credit card payment or no change.
At the same time to build an app like Uber you need to develop and double check your security principles, set a bill assignment system and be ready to find a common language with online payment services.
An important thing to take into consideration is that Uber, in fact, doesn’t have its own cars and that makes business cheaper to start and run. The same approach could be used in any field people could book services. Stars with ideas of how to find qualified workers for your network and develop the way of how to expand their number. Everything else you could borrow from Uber.
Sum Up: Uber app development cost
Uber is not only a magic app but a working-well business model. You might invent your own Uber concept eventually after a cup of morning coffee (like it had happened to Uber owners) or you might develop it slowly, discussing hypothesis inside your team and investigating different business areas.
If you’d like to start Uber-like app development and you don’t have a ready-to-implement idea, operating model and basic marketing strategy, mind that their development will also cost you time and money. Here, we’d like to focus on soft development.
You may ask “How much would my Uber cost?”. There several factors that influence the development budget:
- The development origin (South Europe and Asia are usually cheaper than USA or UK)
- The complexity of an app (number of features, screens, databases and third-party tools integrations like location tracking, camera, social networks, online valets, etc.)
- Design requirements (the difference between sophisticated Uber-like design and Uber MVP with only basic design element could be 4 times and more)
- Tech support after launch
Hourly rates differ from region to region. Let’s take a median rate between Asia and Europe – $50 per hour, which is also LANARS usual rate.
Backend – 200+ hours
Development – 440+ hours
Design and Frontend – 400+ hours
QA and PM tasks – 260+ hours
If you build an app in Eastern Europe the total budget is around $65 000.
Note. We are calculating costs for building driver and rider apps for iOS and Android as well as admin panel development and basic management support. Marketing is not including.
It is impossible to answer the question how much it exactly costs to develop an Uber-like app without knowing whether you are planning to build a current Uber clone or you are just testing a startup MVP which has nothing in common with taxi except for a business model. To calculate estimates of your particular project contact LANARS.