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How to create an app like Uber

Uber Technologies, Inc. was formerly known as Ubercab. However, Uber has become more than just a cab hailing company over the years. Based in San Francisco, Uber now operates in more than 70 countries and 10,000 cities across the globe.

The company provides mobility as a service alongside ride-hailing, food delivery, package delivery, couriers, and freight transportation services. It has revolutionized travelling, transportation, and mobility for people around the world.

If Uber’s business model has left you inspired, then you have landed at the right place. Stay tuned and know how you can create your own app for taxi booking and mobility. Learn about significant facts, development process, costs, logistics, and more. Let us begin!

In this blog

  1. Online ride hailing & taxi market: Facts & statistics
  2. Benefits of creating a taxi booking app
  3. Key features of a successful taxi hailing app
  4. How to develop a taxi booking app like Uber?
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

Online ride hailing & taxi market: Facts & statistics

In this section, we will help you gain a better perspective of the online taxi and ride-hailing industry with the help of numbers and facts. From the rise of Uber to the expansion of its competitors, there is ample data that can be scrutinized to understand the industry better. Go through the facts and statistics listed below and know the market you are planning to venture into:

  • Revenue in the ride-hailing & taxi industry is projected to reach 332.50 billion US dollars in 2023.
  • The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 3.31% resulting in a projected market volume of 378.80 billion US dollars by 2027.
  • The number of ride hailing and taxi booking app users is expected to reach around 1,453 million by 2027. The average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to amount to 248.20 billion US dollars.
  • By 2017, 55% of total revenue in the ride-hailing & taxi segment will be generated through online sales.
  • The global funding amount for ride hailing services amounted to 10.2 billion US dollars in the year 2015. The amount almost doubled in the year 2017 and then the numbers saw a downfall when the pandemic hit the globe.
  • Uber primarily made revenue from mobility services before the pandemic. However, in 2021 its delivery business generated more revenue as compared to mobility services.
  • Uber generated 17.4 billion US dollars of revenue in 2021, showing a 56% increase year-on-year. However, in 2020 the revenue declined by 21% due to pandemic.
  • 118 million people used Uber in 2021. This exhibits a 26% year-on-year growth in its user-base.
  • Uber drivers completed 6.3 billion trips in 2021. This number was slightly less than 2019 when the count went up to 6.9 billion trips.
  • The US and Canada are the biggest contributors in Uber’s revenue. Uber made 10 billion US dollars from these two countries in 2021, when its total revenue was 17.4 billion US dollars globally.
  • Uber has had an exhaustive list of investors. It received 20.9 billion US dollars as funding from 2011 to 2019 from different investors including Alphabet, Benchmark, SoftBank Ventures, and more.
  • In the second quarter of 2022, Uber had 122 million monthly active users and recorded an average of 21 million trips per day.
  • The global ride-hailing & taxi market size was estimated at 199.14 billion US dollars in 2021 and is expected to reach 219.68 billion US dollars in 2022. 
  • The ride hailing market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% from 2022 to 2028 to reach 432.2 billion US dollars by 2028.

These are some of the statistics related to Uber and the online ride hailing industry at large. The industry saw a dip during the pandemic but it is making a steady recovery. It is expected to grow in the coming time as the use of smartphones and apps will continue to grow across the globe.

Benefits of creating a taxi booking app

Mobile apps are powering businesses across verticals. Launching an app for your mobility business can help you unlock many app-exclusive advantages and enable you to serve your customers better. Go through some of the benefits listed below and know more:

1. Build and expand your brand

Having an app for your business is not an option but a prerequisite these days. It is important to have a 360-degree approach and multiple channels when it comes to branding and mobile app is one of the most significant channels. Apps have the potential to bring in more dedicated traffic and revenue and also boost your business. In fact, app-based start-ups have 825% higher IPO than those without apps and this is just one example of the significance of apps.

2. Give one touch access to customers

As consumers, we are spending more time on apps as compared to websites. This stands true for your customer base as well. They want one-touch access to their favourite brands, products and services and apps enable that. Bring all your services at their fingertips and their chances of interacting with your brand will increase manifold.

3. Streamline and fast-track processes

Native apps can help you utilize the device resources and power your business processes. For instance, it is easier for customers to view vehicle options, search for destinations, book, and track rides, make payments, drop reviews, raise complaint tickets, chat with executives, and receive push notifications on apps. Thus, the process gets fast tracked and you get more business time as compared to websites.

4. Get access to more accurate data

Apps remain on your customer’s devices. Therefore, apps can fetch you more versatile and accurate data as compared to websites. Access to device features such as location, demographics, behavioural details, etc., give you better insights and power you to make more data backed decisions for your business and marketing endeavors.

5. Boost customer loyalty & conversions

Apps can help you in engaging and serving your customers better. For instance, integrating a one-click chat button in the app can help your customers get faster resolutions to their issues and queries. This is just one example. Apps amplify your chances of earning more loyal customers and this gives a boost to your conversion and retention rate.

Suggested Read: How do mobile apps help optimize your business prospects?

Key features of a successful taxi hailing app

The features of your app will determine its success and scalability. While some features are general and remain common for most taxi booking apps, you can also integrate some advanced ones to ensure a smoother and state-of-the-art experience. The features can be divided into passenger specific, driver specific and admin specific categories. Go through the lists below and know more:

Passenger specific features

Your customers should be able to get onboard easily and book rides without any hassle. The features should power them to move forward in their journey and navigate from one point to the other seamlessly. User specific features that you should consider implementing in your app are as follows:

  • Easy sign up and login including social login
  • Create user profile and manage it
  • Choose preferred language
  • Book and cancel rides
  • Monitor booking history
  • Schedule bookings in advance
  • Enter pick-up and drop locations
  • View vehicle and ride options
  • View driver details
  • Compute fares without hassle
  • Navigate destination on map
  • View estimated wait time
  • Track ride in real time
  • Make flexible payments
  • Easy billing and invoice access
  • Redeem coupons and rewards
  • Get push notifications and alerts
  • Share ride details with others
  • Chat with drivers and executives
  • Drop ratings and reviews for drivers

Driver specific features

Your ride partners, fleet owners, drivers etc., should have a set of features of their own. Complement your taxi booking app with an app for drivers and make it easy for them to accept and manage bookings and receive payments. Some general and advanced driver specific features include the following:

  • Create & manage driver profile
  • Get notified of bookings
  • Update availability for users
  • Schedule driving hours
  • Accept / reject / cancel bookings
  • Send activity updates to admin
  • Chat with customers
  • View location maps & navigation
  • View ratings & feedback
  • Compute fares & commission
  • Receive payments

Admin specific features

The admins function as a bridge between the riders and the customers. They should have an app or a backend that enables them to manage the customer and driver apps seamlessly. Make sure that the platform you use streamlines your business and enables you to manage everything under one roof. Other than the ability to customize the content and design and push regular updates, you can look for the following features:

  • View & manage vehicle listings
  • Manage drivers & customers
  • Track cab availability & bookings
  • Manage pricing & surges
  • Implement loyalty programs
  • Schedule & send push notifications
  • Chat with users & drivers
  • Manage payment & billing
  • Collect usage analytics
  • Integrate social media channels
  • Monetize app with ads
  • View customer ratings & reviews

These are some of the features that you can look for when you set out to develop your mobile app. As all the features may not be relevant to you, you can decide on the final list based on your personalized business goals and requirements. Add the features that matter to you and make your customers’ journeys easier.

How to develop a taxi booking app like Uber?

Now let us get to the most important aspect – development. There are several methods of taxi booking app development that you can opt for. In this section, we have discussed all those methods along with the other aspects of development. Go through the detailed process and achieve your development goals with ease:

Step 1: Start with extensive research

Research is food for any start-up. It shapes your journey and helps you move ahead on the right track. Even if you have a full-fledged online business that is up and running, you will still need a lot of research when you launch an app. It will save you time, effort and resources and optimize your journey. Your research can further involve the following steps:

Study your competitors

Those who are already in the industry, have done their trials and errors. You can learn from them and use their experiences, business models, success, and failures to shape your own unique journey. How many competitors do you have in your targeted location? What is their unique offering? What makes them likeable or unlikeable to customers? What kind of feedback have they received from the market? How is your app idea different and better than theirs? These are some of the questions you need to find answer to.

Know your audience

Knowing your potential customers is more important than knowing your competitors. User-experience is given a lot of importance in the current times and you can only win at it when you know your users. Create user personas and study the nature and behaviour of your potential or existing customers. Who are your existing customers? Are they willing to try your app? Who will be your new customers? What are their expectations? How will you attract and engage them? Create a detailed plan and maintain an edge.

Assess the latest trends

Although the on-demand taxi booking industry is not very volatile, contemporary trends keep emerging each day. It is important that you are up to date with the latest trends of the market. This will help you in creating strategic plans, optimizing your marketing and business strategies, implementing the latest features in your app, and more. Be ahead of time and get an edge over your competing brands.

Create a storyboard

Before you actually get your app built, you can create a storyboard, blueprint, or a prototype of your app. This can include an outline of your app design, features, goals, etc. Go ahead and share the same with your team and take their feedback to validate the app idea and enhance it. This will help you in understanding what you want in your app, how viable it is, and how you can get it implemented.

Step 2: Identify your niche

The term “taxi booking app” is actually a broad term. It is not possible for every business to incorporate all kinds of offerings in the app and this is why you must identify and fix a niche. This will depend on factors like your business goals, targeted audience, scalability targets, and more. Here are some ideas that you can take inspiration from:

  • Hyper-local taxi booking app for short distance travels within a specific location
  • Taxi booking app for outstation travels
  • Dedicated taxi booking app for tourists
  • Dedicated taxi booking services for corporates
  • Luxury taxi booking app
  • Affordable taxi booking app
  • Dynamic taxi aggregator and on-demand ride-hailing app
  • Apps for booking taxis from specific airports, hotels, etc.
  • Women-driven taxi booking apps
  • Self-driven cab booking apps

These are some of the options that you can take inspiration from. Else, if you have your own unique idea, you can turn that into a reality and build an app for it.

Step 3: Develop your app

While researching, planning, and marketing are all important aspects of launching an app, finally it all boils down to development. The method and resources you choose for development will impact your timeline, budget, and results. Therefore, look for the right method, transparent pricing, faster solutions, and more. Here are some of the popular development methods that you can choose from:

Create with AppMySite’s no-code app creator  

No-code app creators are revolutionizing and democratizing app development by making it possible for all. AppMySite’s mobile app builder software takes this several notches higher and make citizen app development even more simple, fast, and affordable.

It enables you to create your own Android and iOS apps in minutes without any coding. You do not need to hire any professional as everything from development to deployment can be managed with ease. AppMySite lets you customize and create your own taxi booking app with zero hassle. Launch the perfect apps in no time and save time, efforts, and resources.

Learn basic programming and build with low-code

If you are ok with learning some programming and investing your own time and efforts, then you can also build your app with a low-code app builder. Low-code app development platforms have a steep learning curve and require technical expertise.

You can look up for a low code app development platform that aligns with your business goals and requires you to put in less hours and efforts comparatively. Learn their code and build your own app. Be sure to check with the platform regarding your design and feature goals, expectations, and more. This may take a few days or weeks so be sure to manage your business calendar accordingly.

Outsource development to professionals

Earlier, this was the only development method that people knew of and it remains prevalent till date. Although shortage of professionals, hefty charges, year-long timelines and lack of transparency and control has affected the popularity of custom app development, some people still prefer it.

If you are one of them, you can either outsource development to an agency or hire professionals to build the taxi app for you. However, be sure to discuss about hidden costs, turnaround-time, requirements or resources, maintenance and update charges, and other significant factors. Pick a method that suits your budget and goals and helps you save time for marketing, promotion, and other business activities.

In conclusion

That was all about developing your own app like Uber. The future of the on-demand taxi booking industry looks promising as more people are becoming aware about taking the traffic load off of roads and sharing rides. The advent of drone delivery services and increasing popularity of electric powered vehicles should also lead to further growth of the mobility industry.

Therefore, if you are planning to launch your own taxi hailing and ride booking app or even a creating a car rental app, now is the time. Build and launch a feature-rich taxi booking app with AppMySite and reduce your time to market. Save hours’ worth of time and efforts and scale your business to new heights.

Frequently asked questions

How do I develop a cab booking app?

The process of building a cab booking app depends on your choice of development method. For instance, if you want to develop your app using the custom method of coding, then you will have to either learn coding or hire a team of experts who will code and design the app for you. Else, you can simply subscribe to our DIY app builder and build your own app without writing a single line of code. Manage everything from development to deployment yourself and go mobile in minutes.

How much does it cost to build an app like Uber?

Uber, Lyft, Halo, Ola, and Grab Taxi are some of the most popular online taxi booking apps. All of these players are known for their services in the regions they operate and all of them have fabulous apps that make it easy for their customers to book and manage rides. Creating an app like Uber or its competitors can cost you around 200,000 US dollars. As a taxi app is quite feature-rich and complex, it may take around 2000 hours to complete and each hour may cost you 60 US dollars or so. Hidden charges, special design and feature customizations, extra billable hours, etc., may further increase the budget. However, if this sounds overwhelming to you and you want a more affordable and straightforward solution, then build your app with AppMySite. We ensure the best prices and have plans that suit all kinds of businesses.

What is Uber’s business model?

Uber has a multi-sided platform business model. While it also earns through its extensions like Uber Eats and Postmates, Uber’s ride hailing app brings the most revenue and the app’s earning essentially depends upon commissions. The app connects drivers and riders and vehicle owners with customers. There are segments for drivers, customers and admins and the segments together enable users to book rides, take ride requests, track the rides, and more. Moreover, Uber has a dynamic pricing model and the costs and profits depend upon the location, local taxes, surge, etc. It also offers various ride and vehicle options categorized under sections like UberX, UberXL, Uber Comfort, Uber Black, etc. Further segments include local travel, ride-sharing, bike ride, out-station travel, cab rentals, and more.

How do taxi apps make money?

Taxi apps can generate several streams of revenue. The popular revenue and monetization methods and models include the following:

Commission fees: Most apps act as aggregators of different vehicle providers, drivers, etc., and connect them to customers. Hence, they earn commission on every ride after giving the vehicle owner and the driver their shares.

Cancellation fees: Besides adding an extra revenue flow, this also helps in reducing unethical cancellations of rides. Most services charge last minute ride cancellation fees from their customers and this adds to their income.

Third-party advertisements: Placing ads strategically and cleverly can help you make use of your app real estate and consumer-base for earning additional revenue. Run in-app advertisements using the best ad networks and earn for every click or impression.

How much time will it take to develop a taxi booking app?

The app development timeline​ is influenced by a range of factors like the method of app development (coding, low-code, or no-code), feature and design complexities, customized requirements, and more. Custom app development can take around six to eight months. Low-code app development may also take a few weeks or months. However, with a no-code app builder like AppMySite, you can create your taxi booking app in minutes. Choose your path wisely and save time for your marketing and promotional activities.

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