How to Build an App Like Uber: A Comprehensive Guide

Published On: October 23, 2023
Last Updated: February 9, 2024
How to Build an App Like Uber: A Comprehensive Guide

Imagine this: you are waiting in a bustling city with a few taps on your smartphone, and voila! A sleek car arrives at your footstep, ready to take you away to your destination.

Thanks to Uber, the way we travel has been transformed, and it’s not just about rides anymore. It has expanded into a multi-service platform, offering food delivery, package couriers, and even helicopter rides in some locations.

One innovation that has made convenience and accessibility paramount is Uber. It has generated a significant amount of around 57.9 billion U.S. dollars in gross bookings worldwide in 2022.

From a simple concept of booking a taxi to becoming a global tech giant, Uber has made an inspiring journey business.

If you have a vision and want to transform the industry, thinking of how to build an app like Uber, you are at the right place.

In this blog, we will walk you through the development process, features, and cost of development needed to develop an app like Uber.

But before that, we advise you to check our blog on, how to start taxi service business like Uber?

Now, Let’s start with understanding the basics.

What Is Uber & How Does It Work?

Uber is a global transportation network company that has revolutionized the way people travel and access services. It operates through applications that allow users to request a ride or other services. Today, it is available in both Android and iOS versions.

Before developing, let’s understand how the Uber app works.

How To Start a Taxi Business?

Taxi Business Requirements For Starting A Taxi Service

  • Users download the Uber app and register themselves. After registering, they input their source location and request a ride, entering the destination.
  • Now, they need to choose the type of car and payment mode. The app connects the user with nearby available drivers.
  • The driver accepts or declines the request. If the driver accepts, the user receives the driver details and real-time tracking. If a driver rejects, it transfers to another driver available to the nearest location.
  • The driver reaches the pickup location and initiates the ride. The Uber app calculates fares based on distance and time.
  • When the ride ends, the fee is automatically deducted from your account (credit/debit cards, PayPal account, or others). Users can also choose to pay in cash.
  • Before closing the app, users and drivers can rate and review their ride experience.

Now that you understand how the Uber app works and have developed your app idea, the next step is to explore further. Before diving into the next phase let’s first understand the Uber app architecture through visual format to get an idea of how it actually develops.

What Is Uber App Architecture

Now, let’s understand how to do research and competitor analysis and begin with uber-like app development. If you are wondering how to start this essential phase, check out our detailed blog on “I Have an App Idea, Where Do I Start?

Conduct Market Research & Uber SWOT Analysis

Market research involves collecting data related to your target market. Determine the demographics, location, and behavior of your potential users.

Understand user needs and pain points and research the latest trends in the transportation industry. Analyze existing on-demand apps and similar services, providing app strengths, weaknesses, features, pricing models, and market positioning.

A SWOT analysis helps you evaluate the threats associated with creating an app like Uber.

Strengths

  • A dominant player in the ride-sharing industry with a broad reach and popularity.
  • It offers different services and is expanding its revenue streams.
  • User-friendly app with the latest upgrade of technology.
  • The dynamic pricing model ensures better earnings for drivers during peak hours.

Weakness

  • Heavily dependent on drivers, which leads to issues related to driver reliability and availability.
  • Higher operational costs related to marketing incentives for drivers present an ongoing business challenge.

Opportunities

  • Track the performance of drivers.
  • Ability to expand its customer base as people prefer things easily available through their smartphones.
  • Focus on driverless technology or any other emergency services like ambulances.

Threats

  • An increase in competitors from established platforms and local taxi services affected Uber.
  • Customer and employee retention is quite a challenge.
  • An increase in cybersecurity threats and data breaches required enhanced security measures.
  • Economic recessions affect the demand for ride-sharing services.

After extensive research on the target market, you now need to determine the essential features that define the success of your app.

Uber-like app development consists of three essential parts:

  • Passenger App
  • Drivers App
  • Admin Panel

Are You Looking For An Expert To Build An Uber Like App?

Bring it to us! Guru TechnoLabs’ expert team is here to assist you
throughout the development journey.

So, let’s explore the features you need to include when developing an app like Uber.

Rider’s Features for an App Like Uber

Here are essential rider features to keep in mind when creating an app like Uber:

User Registration and Profile
The initial step is creating an app account through multiple registration options. Users can smoothly sign up using their email, phone number, or social media account. Signing up with a social media account is the most popular choice as it integrates existing credentials, streamlining the onboarding process.

Ride Booking
It is a core feature that allows users to request a ride. Users must select their desired pick-up and drop-off locations, choose the type of vehicle, and more.

Fare Calculation
Users should have the ability to check estimated fares before the ride. However, the price usually depends on different factors. With a simple tap, the request is sent to nearby drivers, initiating the process to assign a driver.

Driver Tracking
The driver tracking feature is an integral component of ride-hailing apps like Uber. It allows users to monitor the real-time location of their assigned driver on a map. They can track their car’s movement, travel routes, and estimated arrival time.

Multiple Payment Options
Integration of various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, net banking, and PayPal, allows users to do convenient & secure transactions. Also, allow passengers to pay in cash.

Notifications and Alerts
It is a powerful feature that keeps users informed about the journey. It includes receiving regular notifications for ride confirmation, driver assignment, time of arrival, destination reach, and more.

Ride History and Receipts
It allows users to access previous ride details, payments, etc, for each trip.

Ride Rating and Reviews
Passengers can review and rate driver and riding experience to improve service and provide the best experience to riders.

Support and Help Center
This feature helps users resolve their queries. It includes guides, FAQs, and contact options for customer support.

Promotions and Discounts
This feature provides users with special discounts or promo codes during the ride, leading to fare reductions and cost savings.

Also Read: Key Uber App Features for Building Your Ridesharing App

Driver’s Features to Create Uber Like App

In the process of developing an app like Uber, let’s explore the perspective of creating a driver app’s features. Here is the list of features to be included:

Driver Registration
Drivers need to register with necessary documents like driver’s license, vehicle insurance, etc, and get approval from the administrative panel.

Accept/Reject Ride Requests
Drivers can accept or reject trip requests based on their current location, availability, or preferences.

Trip Details and Fare Estimation
Drivers can get rider’s details, including pick-up and drop-off locations, review, and route information. Fare calculation will be based on time, distance, and surge pricing.

Real-Time Navigation
GPS integration allows drivers to get the best route suggestion to reach the rider’s location and destination efficiently.

In-App Communication
This feature allows for direct communication between a driver and a passenger within your taxi app, like Uber. Your personal phone number will not be revealed.

Driver Earnings and Reports
It provides detailed information on daily, weekly, or monthly earning reports. Drivers can also break down their earnings, including ride fares, bonuses, and incentives.

Status Availability
Drivers have the option to set their availability status (online/offline) to manage their work hours effectively.

Admin Panel Features for an App Like Uber

The admin panel is the control center to efficiently manage and supervise the app, like Uber. Here is the comprehensive list of features for the admin panel.

User Management
It includes managing user profiles, trip records, and the ability to modify or update user information.

Driver Management
Ability to manage the driver’s verification process, monitoring their profiles, performance, and more.

Ride Management
Admins have insights into ride details, monitoring requests, tracking ride processes, fare calculations, and several other things.

Payment and Commission Management
Managing payment methods, monitoring transactions, ride payments, and commissions, and addressing payment-related issues.

Promotions and Marketing Management
Analyze marketing strategies, creating and managing promotional campaigns, discounts, and referral programs.

Feedback and Reviews Management
Admin has the right to address and resolve issues reported through feedback. They can manage user and driver reviews and ratings.

Integrate AI Features for an Enhanced Taxi App Experience!

Feel free to reach out. We will integrate AI features and help you build
a smart taxi app for an improved user experience.

What Technology to Use to Build an App Like Uber?

Now, let’s understand how to make an app like Uber technically. A robust technology stack is essential for reliable, scalable, and high performance. Let’s start with:

1. Geolocation

It is the key technology used in taxi booking apps for navigation. Mapping technologies are:

  • Identify device location using Google’s location APIs for Android and CoreLocation framework for iOS.
  • Providing directions to the driver to navigate from point A to point B with the help of MapKit for iOS and Google Maps Android API for Android OS.
  • Google Maps are integrated into iOS and Android app versions.

2. Push Notification & Messaging
Effective communication is the lifeline of apps like Uber. It goes from requesting a trip to the driver accepting the request, ride cancellation, and other essential updates.

Push notifications here play a crucial role in keeping users informed and engaged. iOS uses Apple Push Notifications Service (APNs); for Android apps, Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) enables real-time updates and alerts.

These notifications enhance the overall user experience. However, integrating a reliable telecommunication provider like Twilio is a good option. It allows seamless text messages within the app even when there are connectivity issues.

SMS notifications are also important to integrate as push notifications. Sometimes, it can be unreceived or won’t work if the device is offline or unavailable. SMS warnings help users keep informed whether the message was successful or not.

3. Payment Gateway Integration
Uber-like apps should integrate payment gateway to avoid human error. However, it is necessary to comply with certain requirements and country policies to proceed. For example, the PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) exists within the US.

Also, it is possible to use Braintree or Stripe, which is used by the leading competitive taxi app service in the USA – Lyft.

Let’s summarize the whole in the table format:

Aspect iOS Android
Geolocation
  • Mapkit
  • Corelocation
  • Google Maps
  • Google Location Service API
Push Notifications
  • Apple Push Notifications Service (APN)
  • Twilio, Nexto, Plivo, Sinch
  • Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM)
  • Twilio, Nexto, Plivo, Sinch
Integration of Payment Gateways
  • Stripe
  • PayPal
  • BrainTree
  • Apple Pay
  • Stripe
  • PayPal
  • BrainTree
  • Apple Pay

Now, let’s define programming languages used in creating apps like Uber. The best way to develop natively means separate Uber-like apps for iOS and Android platforms.

Also Read: Difference between Native and Hybrid Apps

Taxi app developers use Swift for iOS and Kotlin programming language for Android apps. For the backend, they use frameworks like Node Js or Laravel.

In addition to this, taxi app developers also have expertise in cross platform frameworks such as Flutter and React Native to build cross-platform taxi booking apps.

Select Top Taxi App Development Company

The choice of outsourcing a project to the right taxi app development company is a critical decision you need to make. An ideal company should not only help you in design and development but also guide you through testing, maintenance, and ongoing support.

With a strong focus on app design, the team of taxi app developers should prioritize user experience, making it easy for both riders and drivers.

Also Read: Best Practices To Follow For Unique Mobile App Design.

Evaluate the company’s technical expertise and development skills in creating robust mobile applications. They should be well-versed in the latest technologies and frameworks that are relevant to taxi app development.

Along with rigorous testing, the company should also provide post-development maintenance to ensure the app operates smoothly.

If you are looking for a guide on how to launch an app? Check this article.

However, make an informed decision by carefully evaluating the company’s experience, skills, and reviews to ensure your app’s success in the market.

Guru TechnoLabs is a leading taxi app development company offering comprehensive services in app design and development. We are also prioritizing testing and providing ongoing support for the success of your Uber-like app.

How Does Uber Makes Money: Monetization Model

When you are thinking of how to build an app like uber, your end goal is to make money with it. So, deciding the business model and monetization beforehand is essential.

Popular taxi companies like Uber’s revenue comes from ride fees, surge pricing, and delivery charges through Uber Eats. Additional income sources include subscription services, advertising, specialized ride options, and vehicle rental partnerships.

So, let’s understand how the price of each ride is determined based on the following:

  • Base Fare means a basic fee for Uber services based on the type of car and area.
  • Cost Per Mile
  • Cost Per Minute is calculated based on data from GPS sensors.
  • Booking Fee, which is a minimal fee that is revoked at the moment of ride booking.

Whatever you choose from above, depending on that, you can monetize your Uber-like app in the following ways:

  • Take commission from drivers for each ride
  • Trip fares from passengers
  • Cancellation penalties

So, how much money does the Uber app make?

Uber takes a 25% commission from each ride.

The Uber app generated around 31.88 billion U.S. dollars in San Francisco in 2022. The transportation network company has monthly users of around 130 million all over the world.

gobal net revenue

What Is Uber Like App Development Cost?

The cost to build an Uber-like app is around U.S. $20,000 to $50,000 for one platform (iOS or Android). Also, the cost of developing an admin panel is estimated separately, starting from $8,000.

The process of developing a taxi app consists of several stages. Starting from project analysis, UI/UX design, development, and testing to maintenance. Also, marketing the app is not included in the development cost.

So, how much does an app like Uber cost?

The answer depends on several factors.

Let’s say you have been outsourced to a reputed taxi app development company in the U.S., where the service rate is $100/hour, and the cost to create an Uber-like app will be the following.

  • For developing a passenger/riders feature app for ioS or Android, total hours consume around 1000 to 2000 hours. The average cost will be around U.S. $100,000 to $200,000.
  • For developing driver apps, including all features for iOS or Android, total hours consume around 300 to 600 hours. The average cost estimation will be around U.S. $30,000 to $60,000.
  •  
  • For developing the admin panel, the time required is around 250 to 350 hours. The estimated cost will be U.S. $25,000 to $35,000.

So, the average cost to develop an Uber-like app in the USA will cost you a total of around U.S $155,000 to $295,000.

If you decide to outsource to top taxi app development company in favorable region with an hourly rate of $30, you will have to pay a lot less:

  • Passenger apps will cost you around $30,000 to $60,000.
  • Driver app development cost is around $9,000 to $18,000.
  • Admin panel development cost is around $7,500 to $10,500.

The total estimated cost to develop an app like Uber will cost U.S. $46,500 to $88,500.

However, if you want to develop an Uber-like app with affordable cost and high quality, Contact Us. We have a development charge of around $20/hour, depending on the requirements of your project. We also provide a free estimated quote for your project. Schedule your appointment now.

Also, keep in mind that the cost of taxi app development varies based on numerous factors, like app complexity, features & functionality added, development location, experience, etc.

Also Read: Factors That Impact Mobile App Development Cost

Step-by-Step Process To Make an App Like Uber: Summary

  • Conduct market research and identify main competitors. Understand your target audience’s requirements and design a solution that helps them with your application.
  • Create a business document mentioning timelines, milestones, features, and scope of the app, and create wireframes etc.
  • Now, you need to decide on a monetization model and create a complete strategy on how your app, like Uber, will make money.
  • Find a suitable app development company with expertise in development and a proven track record of delivering successful projects.
  • Start with basic features and create an appealing UI/UX design so that it attracts users and keeps them engaged.
  • After fully developing the version, test your app and get feedback.
  • Launch and deploy it to the respective app store and ensure the application is up to date with the latest market trends.
  • Lastly, focus on building effective marketing strategies to retain existing users and get new ones.

Frequently Asked Question

On average, time to build an app like Uber takes around 4 to 6 months. The approximate time is about 1100 hours. However, it depends on several factors, such as the complexity of the app, the number of features & functionality, developers working on it, available resources and more.

If you are searching for how to make an app like Uber, do the following:

  • Conduct market research
  • Create a business plan and document a journey map.
  • Define USP
  • Determine the essential features for the user, driver and admin panel app.
  • Hire an app development company.

When you want to create an app like Uber, choose to outsource to a taxi app development company in a favorable region where the hourly rate is reasonable and provides good quality work. If you are looking for a top taxi app development company in India, contact Guru TechnoLabs.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.