How to create a ride-sharing app? – that’s probably what Uber thought when they came up with the first-ever idea of people sharing car rides.
Now in 2021, car-sharing revenue is predicted to grow by 53%. And to think it all started with one man dreaming.
The last numbers confirm how dreams can be successful: more than 120 million monthly users worldwide in 2020 used Uber and its global competitors like BlaBlaCar, Lyft, and DiDi.
Given everything, we decided to share our knowledge about creating a ride-sharing app, the ride-sharing market analysis, and the core features that ridesharing apps must-have. Let’s ride into the global car-sharing world.
To create a rideshare app, begin by identifying the app’s purpose, target audience, and unique features. Design an intuitive interface for drivers and passengers. Develop essential features like real-time tracking, driver/passenger matching, payment integration, and ratings/reviews. Build a secure backend infrastructure. Test, refine, and finally launch the app.
Creating a Ride Sharing App: 10 Core Features
There are 2 ways to build a ride-sharing app:
- build two separate mobile apps for drivers and passengers (iOS or/and Android)
- create an all-in-one app.
Let’s look at the example of an all-in-one ride-sharing app and its main features.
Even if you decide to build an all-in-one ride-sharing app, it’s vital to understand that the mobile app functionality will differ depending on who is accessing it.
Registration & Profile
Any user journey of a ride-sharing app begins with users registering in it. So, it is advisable not to overcomplicate the registration process with unnecessary components and information. The best thing to do is to ask passengers to register with their phone number; in some cases, social media can be an excellent tool for writing your passengers.
In terms of profiles, users should upload their photos, enter their name, phone number, and payment method; view their payment history, and view ratings that they leave on drivers.
If your brand aims to give users a custom approach, then allowing users to specify their requirements for a ride (such as a nonsmoking driver, no music in a car, only female drivers, and so on) will be worth it.
Uber Registration Feature
To become drivers, users should be advised to submit an online tax number verification and get your rideshare company’s approval. In addition, they upload their personal information, including
- any other information that rideshare company may need
Drivers have to determine their work schedule and switch to an online mode once they start working.
For private profiles, we advise building a mobile app for Android and iOS so that drivers can track.
- their trips
- reviews and feedback
Notifications & Communication
Passengers tend to be impatient when waiting for a ride since it’s clear that they have to be somewhere, probably soon. Notifications save your users from constantly checking the driver’s location. We suggest sending push notifications about
- accepted ride
- canceled ride
- possible delay
- some payment issues
Communication can occur inside and outside the mobile app for Android and iOS. Usually, drivers or riders call each other to find out specific details; however, it’s also better to implement a chat system. It would be great for passengers to leave comments on a future ride and text a driver directly.
Uber Notifications Feature
The same rules apply to notifying drivers about possible ride opportunities, cancellations, and ride details.
Here’s how booking a ride should work:
Step 1: Before requesting a ride, users must enter their payment information if they haven’t indicated it in their profiles. Users should be able to save their payment details for future rides.
Step 2: For booking a ride or a seat in a car, users need to enter their current location and their destination.
Step 3: The next step is choosing a car type, a driver rate, and a preferred ride cost. These preferences depend on what factors you would like to include in the booking process.
By the way, introducing a different approach to a booking process may attract more users to your mobile application on iOS and Android. It’s vital to think of Unique Value Proposition (UVP) before building a ride-sharing app.
One thing must always stay the same: users should always see the ride cost before accepting a ride.
Uber Booking Feature
The ride price is calculated based on the pickup and dropoff locations. Lyft, for example, uses heat maps to see where the highest demand for rides is and thus charges more for rides in that area.
Drivers should only be able to accept or decline a ride. The time for getting a ride should be limited. For our Uber-like app for scooter rides that Sloboda Studio helped build, drivers can accept a ride in 10 seconds, or the request goes to another nearby driver.
Some users use ride-sharing mobile apps quite often. So they need to see the complete history of their rides.
Instead of going to the personal profile, we suggest creating a separate “My Rides” tab, where passengers can view the number of rides they have completed and their details, such as:
- payment details
Uber Your Trips Feature
The same logic and functionality should be applied to the driver’s side of an application.
GPS is used for detecting someone’s location. By using GPS in a ride-sharing mobile app, users and drivers will save time by not needing to enter their locations manually.
In addition, riders can use a feature such as real-time tracking. Real-time tracking allows riders to track a driver’s exact location. Often, a GPS can take drivers on the wrong route. So riders can always call drivers and direct them to the correct site and route.
Uber Geolocation Feature
Payments should be processed before completing the ride. This way, even if a passenger decides to cancel a ride at the last minute, your driver won’t lose the money.
If your ride-sharing app accepts cash, this should be clear before passengers book a ride.
Usually, ride-sharing mobile apps use third-party payment providers for securely processing payment transactions. As an example, Uber chose Braintree
; however, there are other popular and trustworthy payment providers, such as Stripe and Paypal.
Tipping a driver is a great feature that should not be overlooked, as we all are accustomed to tipping people for the provided services. In case of a cashless payment, we advise giving passengers an option to list a driver after completing their ride inside an app. Passengers choose on their own how much they want to tip.
Reviews & Ratings
Ratings and reviews are a two-way street. We encourage you to allow both drivers and passengers to rate each other. This will give a clearer picture of the driver doing a lousy job and who should be banned. However, not all ride-sharing apps allow the review and rating of passengers.
Passenger feedback gives a fuller picture of a driver’s behavior and driving skill. Nobody would want to get into a car with a driver who swears a lot or who is extremely chatty.
If you are building an international ride-sharing app, then the ability to switch between languages is a must-have. Even if your rideshare company only operates in one country, making a multilingual ride-sharing app is advisable since there is a high probability of foreigners using your mobile app.
Nowadays, some popular mobile apps present the function of an English-speaking driver.
Our advice: don’t go overboard with languages, make an app based on:
- its location of operation
- English and any other official language that is spoken in that country
Our advice is to build an admin panel as a web app. It’s just easier for a rideshare company’s staff to manage the processes from a computer. Admins usually have full access, they control both passengers and drivers
- track payment transactions
- view statistics
Pros and Cons of Building a Ride-Sharing App from Scratch
Custom development allows you to begin building a ride-sharing app the way you want and at a pace suitable for you.
Pros of Building a Ride-Sharing App from Scratch
We collected more than one fair share of pros.
By starting to create a ride-sharing app from scratch, it becomes possible to create
- customized features
- unique design
Time-to-market can be somewhat of an issue for your product. That’s why your goal would be to launch it as fast as possible. This means that you won’t have time for expanded functionality, only the core features.
But you know what? When the time comes to broaden the app’s functionality, there won’t be any difficulties since custom ride-sharing app development allows you to be quite flexible in terms of features and product architecture.
Storing drivers’ and passengers’ personal information is always a sensitive issue. With custom development, a team of developers would use encryption to protect the data.
Cons of Building a Ride-Sharing App from Scratch
Like each industry, ride-sharing has some cons. We’re ready to share the most crucial.
How much does it cost to create a ride-sharing app? Custom development indeed costs more money than some ready-made solutions, but it provides users with a completely different level of functionality and UX.
Even if you decide to use a ready-made solution at first, you would still need to scale your ride-sharing app at one point. And the fact is a ready-made solution is not always scalable. So, it would be necessary to rebuild it from scratch anyway.
Three to six months – that’s our average estimate for the product’s MVP. It all depends on the app’s functionality and complexity.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Ride Sharing App
Essential features are critical in pricing and the amount of time necessary.
There are a few factors that influence the development costs:
The development origin depends on whether you are going to hire
- in-house development team
Creating a team in the USA or UK would be more expensive than outsourcing ride-sharing app development to Eastern Europe.
Answering how to start a rideshare business, remember to take its complexity into account. The mobile app’s complexity is based on the number of features and the technologies used.
Your app’s design will be making the first impression on the users, along with the app’s speed and other factors. Nevertheless, it’s your choice of how fancy you want the mobile app to look.
A word of advice: don’t concentrate too much on the app’s design. It is quite possible that in the future, you will be doing rebranding anyway. Spending a lot of time and money on design seems like a big waste during the MVP stage.
Support and maintenance
Most mobile Android and iOS apps usually need tech support after launching. There is always something to work on. The only questions are how critical it can get and how much it will cost.
Want to build an Uber-like app?
Business and Monetization Models of Ride-Sharing Apps
A business model of the sharing economy – in particular, the on-demand ride-sharing model – has made it possible to connect supply and demand easily and seamlessly.
What Uber created at the beginning of their work and further down the road has set the tone for other companies. Uber created such a model where there was a win-win situation both for
- rideshare company itself
Let’s look into the main monetization models that Uber-like companies use.
This is the number one revenue model for any kind of ride-sharing mobile app. A commission-based revenue model is a monetization model that charges a service fee from each payment transaction.
A ride-sharing app can charge either the passenger, the driver, or both. For instance, Uber charges the driver 25% and the passenger pays a sales tax per ride. Lyft charges the driver 20%. BlaBlaCar collects a service fee, including VAT, from passengers.
Advertising is a way to profit from putting ads from third-party providers, especially in a mobile app. Many ride-sharing apps don’t use it due to fear of losing the users by bombarding them with advertising.
Collaborating with other companies is always an excellent way to build relationships with trusted brands, get more exposure, and earn money at the same time.
That’s what Lyft did when it partnered with BMW to promote its new BMW 7 Series. Lyft offered free rides in the BMW 7 Series for its passengers in selected cities and profited from partnering with one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world.
Steps on How to Start a Ride Sharing Business
It is easy to get stuck in the idea stage of a project.
Knowing how to create a ride-sharing app can be an eye-opener since you will have an idea about:
- development cost
- overall product development process
We’ve gathered the critical steps that all our customers have always taken to set the production in motion. So, we’re ready to have a share of essential steps.
Analyzing the Competitive Landscape
The first thing that all startuppers and entrepreneurs should always do is research their competitors. Who knows? Maybe your idea has already been implemented the way you see it to be. The competitive analysis gives an insight into
- competitors’ unique value propositions (UVPs)
- how well competitors’re doing
These are essential things to know before building a startup from scratch.
Make sure to research both direct and indirect competitors. Direct competitors are the ones who offer the same products/services to the same target audience as you do. Indirect competitors are the ones who provide not the same products/services as you do but to the same market. In both cases, you need to come up with a UVP.
Identifying Your Product’s UVP
We learned after building an Uber-like ride-sharing mobile app: there is no way you will succeed if you’re building a complete Uber clone. Answering how to start a rideshare company, remember to make your passenger service unique.
The unique value proposition defines how rideshare companies and products/services are different from the competition. From studying the market and competitors, it is possible to see the blanks and challenges that your product can help fill and solve – that’s where your unique value proposition will come from.
Determining the Monetization Model
There is no way a business will develop and grow unless it is monetized. Therefore, it’s essential to have a ride-sharing business plan before you start to build a mobile app for iOS and Android. Determining a monetization model early on may save you a future headache. Below, we talk more about ways to monetize a ride-sharing taxi app.
Selecting a Development Team
Hiring an in-house team or outsourcing is the central question here. It all depends on your budget, time, and location.
Developing Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
When thinking of making a ride-sharing app, the smart move in terms of money and time would be to start by creating an MVP. But before taking the plunge, we advise
- choosing the core feature for ride-sharing mobile apps
- prioritizing the features
Below you will find an extensive list of main features for an Uber-like mobile app.
Launching the Product
After building an MVP for 3-6 months, it will be possible to launch the ride-sharing app with core features. This stage determines
- how well the product is received on the market
- whether there is a real request from the target audience for ride-sharing services
Getting Customers’ Feedback
When the product is launched, it is vital to get as much customer feedback (on the iOS and Android platforms, too) as possible since, based on them, you will determine where to pivot and make changes to the technical and business sides of the ride-sharing app.
Improving Your MVP
Significant product improvements can only happen after customers’ feedback is gathered. From there, you can shape your product and build the best features.
Developing a Fully Featured Product
Scaling your ride-sharing mobile app is something you should think of ahead of time. However, only do it when the right time comes.
Here are a few tips on building a fully-featured product:
- If you have plans to scale your MVP, our advice is to make sure to scale the mobile app at the right time. The app’s traffic should be one of the main indicators for scaling.
- We suggest making sure to choose technologies and a way of building a ride-sharing app so that it would be possible to scale the mobile app further down the road.
Looking for a team to create a ride-sharing app?
Future of Ride-Sharing Apps on the Market of Sharing Economy
The total global revenue from the sharing economy market is forecasted to reach $40.2 billion in 2022.
A global ride-sharing market is predicted to grow by over 50% between 2020 and 2021.
In general, the ride-sharing market value is expected to rise to approximately $117 billion in 2021.
Though the ride-sharing market is growing, the market value of Uber will be slowly dropping. There are two reasons for that.
- Uber is no longer the only dominant in iOS and Android world globally
- It has been sued and criticized for the rideshare company’s employment rules
Uber doesn’t classify its drivers as employees but more as independent contractors, which has been an advantage and a disadvantage to the rideshare company. Nevertheless, in 2019, more than 52% of Lyft drivers and almost 45% of Uber drivers reported being satisfied with their ride-sharing company.
Driver satisfaction with Lyft in the United States from 2017 to 2019
All being said, the ride-sharing market is moving forward to using self-driving cars and expanding their spheres of operation. Uber started researching autonomous vehicles in 2015. Since then, the rideshare company has tested numerous cars and poured millions of dollars into the idea and its execution. It was mentioned that the costs on Uber‘s self-driving unit could sometimes reach $200 million in a single quarter.
Top 5 Ride-Sharing Apps
There are a lot of key players in the ride-sharing economy. In the USA, the key players are Uber, Lyft, and DiDi; in Europe, BlaBlaCar. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Uber was initially founded as UberCab in 2009 by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick. Originally, UberCab was launched as a luxury car ride service. An Uber mobile app was officially launched in 2011 in San Francisco. Now it’s used for both iOS and Android.
In 2020, Uber had 93 million users monthly in the United States. Uber operates in more than 70 countries, with more than 7 billion driver trips carried out. Uber will share over 69% of all sharing providers at the end of 2021.
Lyft is another major San Francisco ride-sharing company founded in 2012, the year after Uber. This rideshare company operates in 644 cities in the USA and 12 cities in Canada. It’s also used for iOS and Android users.
Lyft has a 31% market share, making it the second-biggest player after Uber uses it for iOS and Android. In 2020, Lyft generated more than $3.5 billion in revenue worldwide. In the first quarter of 2021, the global revenue was $609 Million.
The Chinese rideshare company DiDi was also founded in 2012 in Beijing. DiDi raised $21.2 billion of funding in total. In 2016, due to Uber’s expansion to China, DiDi decided to buy out Uber China for $35 billion. In its turn, Uber acquired a 15.4% stake in DiDi. It’s also used for iOS and Android.
A Singapore-based ride-hailing company, Grab is a critical player in the Southeast Asian market. This service company was founded in 2012 and worked in over 55 cities across Southeast Asia.
An interesting fact about Grab is that the rideshare company works with both private car owners and taxi drivers.
Grab raised $10.1 billion of funding in total. Concerning future investments, Alibaba is planning to invest $3 billion in Grab very soon.
Grab Transport Page
Curb is one of the youngest ride-sharing companies globally and in the USA. This rideshare was founded in 2007 in Long Island City, New York. The Curb mobile app was released before the Apple App Store was created. Now, it is ranked in the Top 50 for “Travel & Tourism” in the App Store and Google Play. It’s not used for Android. Overall, Curb raised around $40.7 million in 13 years.
Curb Mobility Page
Ride-Sharing Market Overview
The global ride-sharing market grew by more than 50% between 2020 and 2021. There are several key factors that influenced this: in the modern world, the younger generation doesn’t want to buy their car because of its cost and additional driver payments associated with its maintenance and parking.
In 2023, ride-sharing will be most prevalent in cities where vehicle ownership is expensive and less practical due to traffic jams and limited parking.
An interesting fact: New York, for several years now, has consistently held the position of the most expensive city with ride-sharing opportunities despite the ever-growing demand.
To prevent enormous traffic jams in New York, since 2018, the governing council has intentionally provided a limited car number, and a rideshare driver earns at least $17.22 per hour for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies in delivering their sharing services. It’s good salary protection for a driver.
Source: Statista, Globenewswire, CNN
The market value grew to around $117 Billion in 2021. There are three global leaders in the ridesharing industry: DiDi, Uber, and Lyft.
Experts say the global ridesharing market will be worth $218 billion by 2025. This robust growth will be in each world continent, such as
- North America
- Asia Pacific
Difference Between Ride-Sharing and Taxi Services
With ride-sharing, passengers can find a ride via a mobile app.
A ride-sharing app finds the closest available car and matches it with a passenger.
Passengers know instantly when a vehicle will arrive and, based on this information, can accept or decline the ride with a driver. They don’t have to wait for a taxi with a driver to appear on the street to hail it or call a taxi company and wait 15 minutes for the car to pick them up.
With taxis, passengers don’t get to choose how much they want to pay, plus they usually don’t even know how much the ride will cost them.
Ride-sharing apps allow passengers to choose what type of car with a driver they want – a budget or a luxury one. Secondly, passengers are always informed about the ride price before getting into the car.
Ride-sharing mobile apps let users pay with a credit card and not worry about having enough cash for a driver. Most ride-sharing mobile apps allow users to leave tips for a driver to be paid with their credit card.
There are three main types of apps where passengers can share either a ride or a car with a driver:
- Ride-sharing apps
With ride-sharing, passengers determine the destination. Ridesharing doesn’t always have to be shared with other passengers. It can just be a great alternative to a taxi. Although, the main benefit of ride-sharing apps for passengers is that they can share fares.
Examples: Uber, Lyft, DiDi, Grab, Curb.
- Car-pooling apps
With carpooling, the driver is the one who decides on the destination; the passengers are just riding along to the same goal – often, they’re intercity trips. Carpooling can be for free or for a fixed fee.
Examples: BlaBlaCar, Carma Pooling, Waze Carpool.
- Peer-to-peer car-sharing apps
Peer-to-peer car sharing is a practice where a car owner or company rents out their vehicles for a fixed price and a specific time frame.
Both renters and car owners can take advantage of such a model. Renters don’t have to go to a specific car service to rent a car. Renters can find a nearby car, and car owners can profit when they’re not even using their car.
This type of ride-sharing is especially popular with travelers.
Examples: Getaround, Turo, Zipcar, RelayRides, Hertz.
What is Ride Sharing?
Ridesharing is a service that helps passengers to find a one-way ride in a short period.
The most significant part of the sharing economy is that technology matches service or product owners with consumers.
Unlike the traditional model, where private companies own equipment, in this case, cars, the sharing economy model only facilitates interactions between individuals.
The drivers are car owners with the rideshare business model, and they are not registered with any taxi service company. The drivers are usually independent contractors. That is why rideshare companies don’t withhold taxes from drivers’ salaries, offer flexible hours, and allow a driver to work overtime.
Uber prevails in the global ride-sharing market, with a market share of 37.2% in 2019.
The second best is DiDi, with a market share of 32.4%.
The term ‘ride sharing’ suggests that passengers share a ride with a driver to a particular destination.
However, only a few use such a feature; most passengers prefer to ride alone. In such cases, ride-sharing may seem like it doesn’t differ from taxi services; nevertheless, there is a big difference.
In brief, ride-sharing has become a typical activity for those in need of a ride. “I’ll Uber it” is now a standard phrase that you hear at every party or gathering.
The global ride-sharing market is experiencing significant growth. More local ride-sharing apps appear aiming to take over the market. We created this article that has everything to know about creating a ride-sharing mobile app.
There are nine tips on how to create a ride-sharing app that we highly recommend you check out. Here are the most important steps:
- market and competitors’ research
- revenue models
Besides, we have already built an Uber-like mobile app for one of our clients and have a lot to share about our experience. Contact us to gather some valuable insights from a primary source.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a ride-sharing app and a taxi service?
Ride-sharing is a service that helps passengers find a one-way trip in a short time.
Unlike taxi services, drivers are the owners of transport and aren’t registered as a taxi service. This app differs from the taxi service with its:
– mobility – it is easy to detect and trace the car path
– huge variety of prices
– online payment method
What are the reasons to choose a ride-sharing app development from scratch?
Developing a ride-sharing app from scratch helps businesses take a decent position in a fairly wide transport market and bypass competitors.
Advantages of ride-sharing app development from scratch:
– Customization (it will allow you to add unique features and attract users)
– Scalability (since the architecture is not too complex)
– Security (a development team will be able to use encryption to protect data).
How much does it cost to develop a ride-sharing app?
Before starting a ride-sharing app, it’s crucial to pay attention to the price-forming factors such as:
1) Development type: hiring an in-house team or outsourcing.
2) App’s complexity
3) Design requirements
4) Support and maintenance after launching
Taking into account these factors, the most optimal cost and the quality option would be a reliable outsourcing partner from Eastern Europe, where the average programmer’s rate is $50-75/hour.