Uber is a taxi ordering app which was designed and has been operating since 2012. It is operative in 77 countries and is managing the customer data of over 80 million users. In comparison to the regular cab service, Uber tends to charge 35 to 50% less and has the tendency of reaching to you much sooner than a regular cab. An advantage of it is that the cab directly approaches your address instead of you going out on the streets and approaching cabs.
When we talk about designing an App that works exactly like Uber, it may be difficult to quote how much it actually costs. Due to different countries involved, the currency, traffic policies, government policies, developer rates, app architecture etc. it makes a huge difference when executing the plan.
It must be kept into consideration that when an App like Uber is being developed, there are basically two apps that need to be designed, one is for the drivers and the other is for the passengers. Following are the main features required while developing an App like Uber:
- Register/login: Email and/or social media login option is required to register. Bank account details, credit cards, payment processes etc.
- Booking interface: A screen is required to enter the address and set a location for pick up and select a cab type (or specific driver).
- Tracking: Track the driver’s location, make updates during or after a ride, etc.
- Price calculator: Check the estimated cost of a ride from point A to point B with certain cab type even before ordering.
- Payments: Pays automatically via credit card, users receive an invoice on phone and email, or cash payments can also be made.
- Push notifications: These keep users updated on order status, ETAs and other details like car model, license plate, etc.
- Messaging to update drivers with respect to any special instructions, ratings & reviews, booking history etc.
- Register/profile/status: Verification including tax number and approval by an administrator, online status and schedule.
- Booking: Offers options to accept or deny the incoming order, presenting info on customer location and destination of a ride which becomes visible instantly and booking history.
- Push notifications: These are for order alerts, taxi booking data (location, payment, route, etc.), for order updates and/or completion.
- Navigation: This is offered using Google Maps or Google Places to get optimal directions to a customer and to his destination. It also has the option of being voiced.
- Cost estimation, reports, messaging, support.
In addition to this, managing all the processes and drivers from a central point is done by an admin panel. It is a web application that facilitates interactions with customers, manages ride routes, payments and all other data.
In order to design an App like Uber, there are three main elements that we need to consider, namely; Server, Mapping and Payments. In order to process hundreds of users and their requests, along with ride details like routes etc. a server is mainly required.
The programming languages that are required for backend are Node. JS, Python, Java, PHP, and Ruby on Rails. GPS is another main resource required for building a taxi app like Uber. If we talk about platforms, for Android, Google Maps and Google Location Services API are used. However for iOS devices, Map Kit or Core Location framework are used.
For in-app payments as Uber also uses them, you need to use the following gateway adapters to develop an App; Stripe, Brain Tree, PayTM, PayPal mobile SDK.
As for the Push notifications, for Android you may require Google Firebase and for iOS you may need Apple Push. For SMSs, Uber collaborated with Twilio. However there are other cloud communication platforms like Nexmo, Plivo and Tropo that may also be used for this purpose.
Uber App Development Cost
The Uber App cost is based on these major components:
- Web development
- Native app development (Android/iOS)
- Management and Quality Assurance
It would definitely be less costly to design for one platform. But as per the requirements of the modern world, the need for both platforms is inevitable. The timeline for development for each platform would be 200 hours at least.
Hourly rates vary from place to place greatly for e.g. $20-40 in Asia, $40-80 in Europe, $100-150 in UK/USA. An average hourly cost to make an app like Uber is at a $50 rate.
The single-platform app like Uber may cost around $30,000 – $35,000 at a $50 hourly rate. While a basic app for both iOS and Android would cost around $65,000 but depending on the resources and timeline requirements, it may go up to $1 million or $1.5 million or even more.