How to Make an App Like Uber: Features and Tech Details
Today, Uber has over 93 million active users globally.
The ridesharing market has witnessed a considerable surge in the last few years. Uber is the most vivid example of a taxi-hailing company that turned into a multi-billion business. In 2019 alone, the company’s global net revenue amounted to 14.1 billion U.S dollars.
Amid the pandemic, the numbers changed because of the lockdown. In 2022, the number of monthly rides had decreased by 7,7%. The total Uber trips counted 5 billion for the same year.
Thus, many are interested in knowing how to make an app like Uber and bring it to success.
In this article, we are going to review the following topics:
- The processes behind Uber’s work
- Features to include in Uber-like app development
- Business models for apps similar to Uber
- Technology stack to create an app like Uber
- Cost to build an app like Uber
- How to make an app like Uber step-by-step
- Best approaches to making money with your Uber
Let’s find out how to create an app like Uber from the technical and business sides.
How does the Uber App Work?
The logic of Uber-like apps is to help you submit a trip request by automatically detecting location. Then the app matches your requests with the closest driver that accepts the request. After finishing the trip, you pay for the ride and may rate it.
Uber is an application with a worldwide presence. Before moving to technical details, let’s investigate the logic behind Uber’s work.
Who developed the app for Uber?
Uber made a significant investment into self-promotion and marketing by sponsoring different events and taking guests to their homes in San Francisco.
Today, Uber is available for both Android and iOS worldwide. The company managed to bypass a lot of its competitors. People in New York took 462,113 Uber rides per day. Fun fact: while the Uber ride-hailing segment registered a significant decrease during and after the pandemic, Uber Eats increased revenues by 200% in 2020.
Uber doesn’t have its own fleet. Instead, the app connects drivers with passengers. The whole work of Uber can be divided into 5 distinctive steps:
- Step 1. A passenger makes a request for a car in the Uber app with a pre-set destination. The application shows the ride’s fare, which can vary based on the service and the type of Uber app.
- Step 2. Ride verification. Passengers confirm the pickup location.
- Step 3. Uber matches that ride with the nearest available driver. The driver can either accept or decline the request. In case when a ride is rejected, the app redirects the request to another driver.
- Step 4. Payment is made automatically after a ride is completed. The money is written off a payment account or card the user has previously added to the app. Uber supports credit and debit cards, PayPal, Android and Apple Pay, etc. Users can agree to the standard driver’s tip or change it.
- Step 5. Rating is an integral part of the Uber app. Passengers rate drivers, and drivers rate passengers. This way, Uber provides the best experience for both types of users.
As you can see, Uber services two types of users: passengers and drivers.
Uber calculates the price of the ride based on its duration and distance. The ride is charged per minute if a drive is less than 11 mph (18km/h). If a car moves faster, the app charges passengers per mile covered.
Below you can see the cost of traveling by Uber for 6.2 miles (10 km) in different cities around the globe.
To better understand how to make an app like Uber, let’s see the main features for passengers and drivers.
- Select a destination on an interactive map
- Quote for the fare
- Wait for the ride confirmation from the nearest driver
- Track the driver’s movements
- Card-not-present payment for a ride
- Rating of a driver and provided riding experience
- Accept passenger’s request for a ride
- Get instructions on how to get to the passenger
- Receive revenue from each trip and rate passengers
Also, there is an admin panel for regional offices that control all the rides processed with the Uber app.
How to Make an App Like Uber: Features
Before you create an app like Uber, you need to understand how to start with the project planning and idea execution.
Step 1. Carry out extensive market research and create a business model based on market demand.
Step 2. Create the buyer persona and draw a customer journey map.
Step 3. Define the Unique Selling Points of the app and the business objectives.
Step 4. Determine the features’ set.
Step 5. Hire an app development agency.
Step 6. Make necessary updates based on feedback.
Uber-like app development involved the creation of three major parts:
- App for passengers
- App for drivers
- Admin panel
Let’s find out what it takes to build an Uber app and which basic and flagship features you need to include.
Features for Riders in Uber Like App Development
Below, you can see the main basic features for creating a rideshare app.
- User signup & sing in – implementation of these features by allowing to sign up and sign in with email, phone number, and social media. The most popular signup functionality is with the help of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other popular social media networks. Their implementation allows users to save time, as they don’t need to type in all the data manually.
- Car booking – this is the main among basic features to create an app like Uber. This feature is usually implemented to show users an interactive map with the ability to provide their exact address, specify the pickup location, choose the type of car, etc.
- Fare calculation – passengers should have the ability to check the price of the ride beforehand. The price usually depends on different factors, making this feature quite difficult to implement from the back-end perspective.
- Driver tracking – if you wonder how to make an app like Uber that users will love, this feature is your answer. Passengers should have the ability to track their car's movement and see time estimation before arrival.
- Payment – implement multiple payment options, including payments with credit and debit cards, services like PayPal, Android, and Apple Pay, and don’t forget to allow passengers to use cash to pay for a ride.
- Push notifications – these are a powerful tool to keep users informed on the ride request status, time of car arrival, driver, and other details.
- Messaging – the ability for direct communication between a driver and a passenger within an app.
- Driver rating & review – you should also implement the feature to rate each riding experience and driver to provide passengers with the best experience.
- Customer Support – this feature must be a part of the development. If your customers encounter any problems with payments, registration, etc., they should have the ability to connect with someone who can help them.
- Travel History – it is a nice-to-have feature for your app, allowing users to view their rides history, payments, etc.
Aside from basic features, you can add some additional ones. Let’s see how to start an app like Uber with a more advanced set of features.
- Pickup location – this feature automatically allows you to find a driver based on a passenger’s location. Passengers don’t have to type in the address manually.
- Ride cancellation – this is another feature that Uber has. It allows you to cancel a ride for free, but only 5 minutes after placing a request. If a user thinks a little longer, they need to pay a fee of $5-$10 for each canceled ride.
- Split payment – when passengers travel in a group, they should have the ability to split the fare.
- Interactive map – users can track all available taxi cars on the app in real life.
- Ride for later – this feature allows to book a ride in advance so that a taxi car will pick them up at a preselected time.
- Book for others – allow passengers to book rides for friends and relatives without changing their account.
- Gamification and Discounts – these features are great for user retention. Provide them with discounts based on mileage, offer coupons, etc.
- Voice input – increase the accessibility of your Uber-like app by integrating the recognition of voice commands.
- Waiting list – at peak hours, when there are not enough free cars, passengers can add their request to the waiting list.
- Panic button – this feature allows passengers to feel safe while traveling with your solution.
- Preferred driver – ability to hire your regular driver if they are working at the moment.
Features for Drivers to Create an App Like Uber
Let’s find out how to make an app like Uber from the perspective of creating features for drivers. Here is a list of basic features to provide.
- Driver verification – driver verification should be performed from the administrative panel, as it requires the confirmation of a driving license, vehicle insurance, documents on a car, etc.
- Trip alert – this feature notifies drivers when a new trip request is placed with the ability to accept or decline it. The alert includes information about the passenger’s location, review, route, etc.
- Push notifications – these can be used to notify about any changes in route, pickup location, request status, etc.
- Navigation and route optimization – allows for drivers to get to the pick-up location faster, using the integration of Apple or Google Maps.
- Revenue reports – this feature provides information about drivers’ revenue, allowing them to look up statistics on daily or monthly earnings.
- Messaging – allows for direct communication between a driver and a passenger within your taxi app like Uber.
Aside from basic features, uber like app development can also include some advanced features.
- Passengers Destinations – the ability for drivers to select a ride only with preferred destinations.
- Quest earnings – the ability for drivers to earn more by successfully completing a predefined number of trips.
- Waiting time – if the waiting time is longer than 5 minutes, passengers are charged additionally.
- Heat maps – drivers can plan their routes and move to locations with high passenger density.
- Forward dispatch – ability to accept another trip while performing a current ride.
Admin Panel for an App Like Uber
As mentioned, apps like Uber usually consist of different components, and one of them is an admin panel. That’s why you should create an app like Uber with an admin panel that will be a control center for admins to manage customers, drivers, orders, payments, reviews, etc.
Usually, taxi apps include the following features for the admin panel:
- Passenger and driver management
- Feedback and reviews management
- Locations and fares management
- Taxi booking management
- Payment management
- Notifications management
- Best routes management
- Passenger and user support
- Promotions and discounts creation and management
- Integration with multiple analytics tools (possible integration with Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning for better in-app analytics)
How to Make an App Like Uber: Business Models
Uber-like app development should have an end goal – making money with your application. Before creating your Uber-like application, you need to decide on the business model and revenue streams.
Many taxi companies are afraid of Uber and its ability to cut prices for rides. When the company enters a new market, not all local players manage to survive. Such profitability of Uber is possible thanks to a dynamic pricing model. The price for each ride is calculated based on the following factors:
- Base fare – basic fee for Uber services based on the Uber car type and area
- Cost per mile
- Cost per minute – cost is calculated based on data from GPS sensors
- Booking fee (also known as safe ride fee) – a minimal fee that is written off at the moment of ride-booking
You can choose one of the above business models or combine a few of them just like Uber. Depending on your decision, you can monetize an Uber-like app in the following ways:
- Commission from drivers for each ride or generated revenue
- Trip fares from passengers
- Penalties for ride cancellation
How much does the Uber app make?
Uber takes a 25% commission from each ride. Currently, Uber holds over 70% of the ride-hailing market in the US. In the global ride-hailing market, the total revenue was $87.09 billion in 2023.
What Technology is Behind the Uber App?
In this part of the article, you will learn how to make an app like Uber from a technical point of view. As Uber has already opened its API to the public, you can use it to create an app like Uber. Otherwise, there is an overview of all the technical integrations you might need during Uber-like app development.
The leading technology of an app like Uber is the extensive use of geolocation. Other important features include push notifications, integration of payment gateways, and route building.
Here is an overview of all technological integration that will help you create an app like Uber.
|Navigation and Geolocation
Google Location Services API
|Apple Push Notifications Service (APN)
|Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM)
|Integration of payment gateways
Aside from integrations, the planning process includes defining other technologies and programming languages. Accordingly, you can use the Swift and Kotlin programming languages for iOS and Android development. As for the app’s backend, you can use several languages, including Python, Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, etc.
Below, you can see a simple version of the app’s backend.
How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App Like Uber?
The cost to build an Uber-like app may range from $57,000 - $114,000 for one or two platforms. The admin panel development cost is calculated separately, starting at $14,350.
Usually, the process of developing such a taxi application consists of the following stages:
- Business analysis
- UX/UI design
- Back-end development
- iOS and Android development
- Quality Assurance
- Project management
The budget covering these expenses doesn’t include the marketing and other business costs not directly correlated with the development process.
|iOS or Android
|Use of location data
|Ride cost estimation
|Sync across devices
|Review and rating
|Book a ride for others
|Split a fare
|Testing and QA
|iOS or Android
Aside from app development, you will need to create an admin panel for app management. The development of this part will take 260-360 hours, depending on its functionality. This cost will cover the following features:
- Registration and login
- Admin management
- Driver management
- User management
- Payment management
- Promotion management
- Review management
Best Uber Statistics– interesting statistics on uber drivers, their income, and uber in general
So, how much does an app like uber cost?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, one of the most important ones being the location to which you decide to outsource Uber-like app development. In the USA, the average cost of app development services is about $100/hour. Suppose you choose to outsource app development there, in this case, the cost to create an app like Uber will be the following:
- Passenger app: $109,080 – $200,000
- Driver app: $27,000 – $58,000
- Admin panel: $26,000 – $36,000
- Total cost: $163,000 – $249,000
If you decide to outsource Uber app development to a more favorable region, like Western Europe with an hourly rate of $50, you will have to pay a lot less:
- Passenger app: $54,000 – $100,000
- Driver app: $13,500 – $29,000
- Admin panel: $13,000 – $18,000
- Total cost: $81,000 – $147,000
Main Cost Drivers for Taxi Apps Like Uber
There are a lot of factors that can influence the development process. Let’s take a look at some of them to better understand how to calculate the final cost of your application.
As was already mentioned, the cost to create an app like Uber depends on the number of complexity of Uber app features. It is the main expense pattern, as such applications rely heavily on the complex backend. The more features you want to implement, the higher will be the cost. However, you can always start with a minimum set of features and add additional ones with future app iterations.
- Company type
Are you a startup or a full-fledged taxi-hailing company? The answer predefines how to make an app like Uber. In the first scenario, you have a lot more flexibility as you develop your application and your business. If you have an already developed company, you will need to create an app that will accomplish your business operations, which, in turn, can significantly spike Uber app development costs.
- Number of platforms
When discovering how to make an app like Uber, you need to decide how many apps you are going to launch. You can start with a single app for iOS and Android that will help you test your idea and continue by adding the support of the other platform. It is also possible to develop two applications alongside each other to cover a larger part of your target audience.
You can create an app like Uber with different technologies. Today, you can either build a hybrid app (one that will work on both Android and iOS) or a native application (works on either Android or iOS). While the development of a hybrid app might seem like a more cost-saving alternative to app development, it is far less advantageous as hybrid apps don’t offer a great user experience and don’t allow creating apps that heavily rely on a device’s hardware. That’s how to make an app like Uber and give it the best chance for success.
Addevice’s Experience in Uber-like app development
We talk about how to make an app like Uber not from theoretical knowledge but our own experience. Our company has successfully created an application for an existing taxi company. The main goal of our cooperation with GpsGamma was to create a fuel monitoring system. Today, over 5,500 cars are using the system, and their number is growing.
Addevice started the development process from the analysis of competitors. The system is a complex solution consisting of two mobile apps and a web admin panel.
Based on the collected data, we created the design for iOS and Android applications based on the collected data and created a complex backend. The system is hosted on Amazon Web Services and has protocols to collect data from around 150 types of IoT devices.
The project was successfully delivered to the market. We continue our cooperation with clients, providing ongoing development and support.
Create an App like Uber: Step-by-Step Process
To sum up everything said above, take a look at the step-by-step guide explaining how to make an app like Uber from the idea to its successful launch and promotion. Here is a quick overview of all the stages you should undergo:
- Market research – conduct market research, identify main competitors and create an app like Uber that will be unlike any other competitor. The main recipe for success is to develop a unique solution and not a copycat of an already successful solution like Uber, Lyft, or other alternatives.
- Audience research – identify your core audience, their pains, and how you can solve them with your application.
- UX/UI design – create the best UX and UI that will make your application easy for customers and drivers based on the previously collected data.
- Monetization strategy – that’s not enough to know how to make an app like Uber. You need to decide how to make money with your application and create a comprehensive monetization strategy.
- Find Uber app development company – decide which region you will outsource app development, choose the best company on the market, pay attention to the portfolio, successfully delivered projects, number of years on the market, communication processes, etc.
- Crete the first product version – when deciding how to make an app like Uber, start with basic features to launch your application to the market faster. Go with a single version or develop iOS and Android applications alongside.
- Test and get customer feedback – launch your app to the market, gather customer feedback, analyze in-app user behavior with solutions like Mixpanel, Appsee, etc., conduct surveys and ask for feedback.
- Plan for improvements – analyze the collected data and use it to improve your Uber-like app with further iterations.
- Ongoing development and support – keep your application up to date with the market demand and requirements.
- Marketing strategy – start marketing activities before launching your app and continue it after the app launch. It is an ongoing process that should help you get new users and retain existing ones.
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The price of Uber-like app development is about $150,000-$250,000. Such applications are complex with many back-end processes and consist of three parts; drivers, customers, and admins. The cost and timeline of similar app development may vary greatly depending on the number of features, complexity, platforms, outsourcing location, and vendors you work with.
Creating an app like Uber and saving money by choosing a vendor from a favorable outsourcing region is possible. If you decide to work with a company from Europe (like Addevice), you will have to pay $40/hour on average, thus reducing the price of app development to $100,000-$150,000.
Taxi apps like Uber consist of three parts:
- app for drivers
- app for customers
- admin panel for app managers
Thus, when creating a rideshare app, you will need to create all these three parts of the application.