Product Development
min read

How To Build An App Like Uber - Step-by-Step Guide

A complete guide on how to develop an app like Uber, to help kickstart your ride-sharing business venture!
Hamir Nandaniya
Hamir Nandaniya
Updated on Feb 15/2023
Product Development
min read
How To Build An App Like Uber - Step-by-Step Guide
A complete guide on how to develop an app like Uber, to help kickstart your ride-sharing business venture!
Hamir Nandaniya
Updated on Oct 03/2022
Table of contents
How does Uber work? 
Technical Specifications of Some Important Features
What are the Primary Features of an App Like Uber?
Resources Needed To Build An App Like Uber/Lyft
Step-by-Step Development Process for an App Like Uber
How Much Does It Cost To Build An App Like Uber?
Uber’s Revenue Model
Uber for X – Uber for Services Other Than Ride-Sharing
FAQs for Taxi App Development

Are you thinking of building a ride-sharing app like Uber? But how will you go about it? Here we talk about how to replicate the Uber app and kickstart your own ride-sharing business!

The second most disruptive company in the world, only beaten by SpaceX, Uber’s success is not a lesser-known story. Uber works in more than 80 countries in 900+ cities. Uber’s global net revenue amounted to USD 14.1 billion in 2019, according to Statista. Uber’s model can be followed by smaller companies to make similar apps, ride-sharing or otherwise, and attain a loyal customer base.

Uber’s approach is simple. It noticed a common pain point, developed a solution to address it, and in doing so, completely revolutionized the way people looked at taxi-booking as a service. Due to Uber’s simple and easy-to-use features, it has earned great popularity across the globe.

Earlier, one had to call up the taxi hiring/renting company to book a cab or physically go out to look for one at the taxi stand. The amount of time one had to wait for their taxi to arrive, and the overcharging by drivers did not help either. Uber took the whole process online, and it also made taxi-booking and ride-sharing a lot easier, more transparent, and cheaper.

Want to build an app like Uber or Lyft? Here, we have compiled the list of features that you wouldn’t want to miss and how to develop those features, the pricing structure, and the tech stack.

How Does Uber Work?

Before developing an app similar to Uber, let us understand step by step how the app works:

  • First of all, the customer requests a ride through the app.
  • The customer is required to enter the source and the destination before boarding.
  • Next, they need to choose the car type and the mode of payment.
  • Then the customer confirms the pickup/source location.
  • The app would then search for drivers closest to your vicinity.
  • The driver gets to accept or decline the request. If one driver rejects the request, it automatically gets transferred to another driver who is the nearest to your pickup location.
  • When the ride ends, the ride fee gets deducted automatically from your added payment account (credit/debit cards, PayPal account, or any other previously saved wallet accounts). The rider can also choose to make the payment in cash.
  • Before closing the app, the customer rates the ride based on their experience. These ratings further help other riders to choose better for their trip.

To develop a robust app that is easy to use for both drivers and riders, we need to include features and functionalities that benefit the users. Elucidated below is the tech stack of some of the essential functions of Uber.

Technical Specifications Of Some Important Features

Uber app’s smooth functioning is primarily based on the following basic features: geolocation, push notification, and SMS and payment integration technologies.

Let’s dig deeper into the technology stack used for each of them!

1. Geo-location

The apps like Uber use the following mapping and navigation technologies:

  • It uses the CoreLocation framework for iOS and Google’s location APIs in Android for detecting the device’s location.
  • For navigating from one point to another, the directions to the driver are given using MapKit for iOS users, whereas Google Maps Android API is used for Android.
  • Uber has integrated Google Maps for both iOS and Android platforms on their app. But it does not entirely depend on Google Maps, preferably also at times buys mapping technology teams for solving their logistic issues.

2. Push notification and SMS

Once the ride is booked, Uber notifies the rider at various instances:

  • the driver accepts the request
  • the driver reaches the pickup location
  • if the trip is canceled

Push notifications and SMS help the rider and the driver keep track of the trip status.

Uber uses Twilio telecommunications provider to send SMS, whereas, for iOS, Apple Push Notification Service, and Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) is used for Android.

Note: Delivery of the push notification is not guaranteed. At times when the user is unavailable or offline, the push notifications do not get delivered, and hence, integrating the messages into the system becomes crucial as it has a higher chance of being successfully delivered.

3. Payment Integration

To avoid any human errors, apps like Uber implement payment through cards and wallets. There are specific requirements that the company needs to fulfill while accepting card/wallet payment. It is known as PCI requirements. 

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards are used in the US to ensure the secure handling of the payments and data.

Uber has partnered up with Braintree for the same. On the other hand, Lyft, Uber’s competitor company, uses Stripe’s services for payment gateway integration.

What Are The Primary Features Of An App Like Uber?

Uber app is an amalgamation of 3 different interfaces/apps – the Driver app, the Rider app, and the Admin panel, which manages and monitors the app’s functioning.

Let us understand the basic features of each of these applications in detail.

Essential Features of Rider/Passenger Interface

  • Registration – Riders can register or sign in via email and social media. They can also register for different payment methods.
  • Taxi Booking –  The riders can book a taxi, enter their address, select the type of car, and adjust the pickup location. 
  • Fare Calculator –  The fare for traveling from point A to point B is automatically calculated based on the number of kilometers, the type of car chosen, current fuel rates, estimated traffic, etc.
  • Ride Tracking – The driver’s location is tracked in Real-time based on which timely updates on traffic, travel routes, and the estimated time of arrival is provided to the rider.
  • Payment – Cashless and in-app payment features are at the rider’s disposal. They can choose from various options, including credit cards, debit cards, net banking, PayPal, etc. 
  • Messaging & Calling – Messages and calls to the rider providing the status of their ride.
  • Driver Rating & Analysis – Provide driver rating based on the journey, taken route, car comfort, driver’s behavior, etc.
  • Travel History – The track record of the previous rides and transactions.
  • Ride Cancellation – The rider has the option of canceling the ride, but needs to be done within a specified time limit to avoid paying the cancellation fee.
  • Split Payment –  Riders also can opt to share a ride with other passengers. 
  • Schedule for Later – This feature allows the riders to book a ride in advance. 
  • Book for Others – Using this feature, one can also book a taxi for their friends, relatives, colleagues, etc.

Essential Features of Driver Interface

  • Driver Profile & Status – This feature gives the complete information of the driver, for example: if he/she is verified or not, their license, car insurance, etc. The driver’s availability status is also displayed through this feature.
  • Trip Alert – The driver would be notified for incoming ride requests, information on the destination, pickup location, travel route, and rider’s necessary details.
  • Push Notifications – Notifications are received when the ride commences, any change in the travel route, heavy traffic ahead and on the completion of the ride
  • Navigation & Route Optimization – The driver uses this feature to navigate the traffic, opt for the shortest way to the destination using the Google Maps
  • Reports – Provide insights regarding trips and earnings on a daily/weekly/monthly basis
  • Waiting time – The rider would be charged extra if the waiting period exceeds 5minutes.
  • Next Ride – The ride is notified of an upcoming ride while he/she is still completing the previous one.

Essential Features of Admin Interface

An Admin panel is crucial for the proper integration and smooth functioning of the system.

The basic features and functionalities of an Admin panel would be:

  • Customer and Driver Details Management (CRM)
  • Booking Management
  • Vehicle Detail Management (if self-owned)
  • Location and Fares Management
  • Call System Management
  • Communication
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Promotions and Discounts
  • Payroll Management
  • Content Management
  • Customer Support and Help

Resources Needed To Build An App Like Uber/lyft

Here’s the tech stack you need to develop an app like Uber:

Taxi app development is impossible without a development team. You need an all-rounding team with an all-rounding strategy to develop the app successfully. Here’s a list of people your team should have:

  • Android app developer
  • iOS app developer
  • UI/UX designers
  • Backend developer
  • Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager

Step-by-step Development Process For An App Like Uber

  • Requirement Analysis – This is the stage of getting to know the clients, analyzing their requirements, and designing a solution.
  • Documentation & Blueprint – This stage is all about laying the foundation of the app – documenting scope, timelines, milestones, and creating wire-frames, initial system designs, etc.
  • App Development – Your software development team builds your ride-sharing app using their coding chops! At every stage, you review the milestone achieved and the solution is updated as per your feedback.
  • Acceptance Testing – It involves testing all the features and the final solution.
  • Deployment – The D-day you are most excited about! It is the stage where your app is deployed on the app store and reaches your target audience/user base.
  • Support & Maintenance – This stage involves enhancements and fine-tuning of the app based on the changing needs and feedback.

How Much Does It Cost To Build An App Like Uber?

The cost of building an application depends on multiple factors, such as the number of features, the geographical location of the app development company, their hourly rates, and more. Some of the crucial factors on which the pricing of taxi app development depends are as follows:

  • Native Android/iOS 
  • Technology used
  • Number of features & functionalities
  • Rates and abilities of the development team
  • Integrations
  • Designing
  • Maintenance Plan

The complexity, features, and platform specifics you choose to go with will affect the overall development cost. This will also affect the timeline estimate. 

Here is the effort estimation in terms of hours by our inhouse developers for different features of the three interfaces of Uber:

App like uber

Developing an app like Uber would require a budget north of $200,000 in North America, but you could develop the same app for about $110,000 or more in Europe or the UK.

In Asia, specifically India, you could get the app with the most features developed at ~ $65,000.

Now let’s have a look at how you, like Uber, can earn through the app:

Uber’s Revenue Model

Uber’s revenue generation is based on the following sources:

  • Trip Commissions – Trip commissions are major sources of revenue generation for taxi booking apps. Lyft, Uber’s competitor, charges 20% on each of the rides booked through its app, whereas Uber charges 25%.
  • Surge Pricing – Based on the demand and supply rule, Uber increases the ride rates using a set algorithm. It works as a premium earning for Uber.
  • Premium Rides – After the simple taxi booking business’s success, Uber decided to take it a step further and introduced comfortable premium and luxury sedans and SUVs.
  • Cancellation fee – Uber also generates revenue by charging the riders for canceling the ride after a specific period of time. It helps the company to keep account of the number of cancellations.
  • Leasing to drivers – Uber lends their cars on lease to drivers who join the company but do not own a car.
  • Brand Partnerships/Advertising – Uber leverages its large customer base by charging a fee to other businesses to advertise their services and products.

Uber For X – Uber For Services Other Than Ride-sharing

Like Uber provides on-demand service for ride-sharing and taxi-hailing, you can launch other similar apps in the market that provide on-demand services and work in a similar fashion, i.e., Uber for X, X being the service you want to provide your customers.

Here are some ideas of Uber for X for your next startup:


Faqs For Taxi App Development

1. How much time does it take to build an app similar to Uber or Lyft?

As this article earlier states, the timeline of the development of different features depends on various factors like technological preferences, the number of developers involved, their capabilities, number of features, and overall app complexity. Approximately, building an app like Uber can take anywhere between 2 to 5 months.

2. What programming language does Uber use?

Uber’s engineers primarily write in Python, Node.js, Go, and Java. They started with two main languages: Node.js for the Marketplace team, and Python for everyone else.

3. What is the price of building an app like Uber in the US?

The price to develop an app like Uber is roughly $200,000+. The final system cost changes due to the complexity of these elements, their design specifics, integrations, components used, as well as rates of the IT vendor you work with.

4. How will my business benefit by implementing Uber for X?

The convenience and speed that comes with on-demand service providers ensure that there is no dearth of customers for such businesses. Not only is the Uber for X solution user-friendly, but it will also help you in managing your employees efficiently and streamlining your business activities.

Like Uber’s disruptive business model, Uber for X will fit perfectly in the on-demand economy and simplify the delivery of your services/goods.

With more than a decade of experience in developing mobile applications, we at Maruti Techlabs provide impeccable service to our clients. Our app experts can guide you on market trends and the latest technologies to adapt your app idea. We help you grow your business and develop a loyal customer base by developing high-quality applications for web platforms, iOS, and Android.

Whether you are looking for the business perspective or the technical know-how, we at Maruti Techlabs are more than eager to know your idea and share our decade-long experience and knowledge in app development. Simply drop us a note here, and we’ll take it from there.

Hamir Nandaniya
About the author
Hamir Nandaniya

Hamir is the VP of Product at Maruti Techlabs. With his technical acumen and engineering expertise, he continues to overcome tough business challenges by building and scaling creative solutions.

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