How Much Does it Cost to Build a Taxi app Like Uber?

In The App Solutions, we have started to receive a large amount of requests for taxi mobile app development. Considering the high demand of this trend, we decided to elaborate further and cover all details on our blog. Some of our potential clients want to get another Uber clone (what is not bad in fact), other customers need to improve their existing taxi cab service with technologies.
In both cases we help to study competitors, define a business model, find a market niche and unique essential features and providing the entire development process from beginning to end.
At The App Solutions we have a professional team for these issues and also can find taxi app developers for hire if the project involves additional resources.
We have already implemented many comparable projects and are ready to share our experience and answer generic questions.
Basically, the mobile app for taxi service is not a single app, but a set of 3 different products: two separated apps for passenger and driver and an admin dashboard.

Passenger App allows:

  1. Register: User can directly register in the app using his profile in existing social media or create a new one.
  2. Taxi booking: User can hail a cab or book it for later. Your taxi booking app can maintain both options or can have only one of them.
  3. Payment: Adding this feature enables to register passenger`s app and provide auto payment right from the app.
  4. Push notifications: Show all the information about the trip when the driver accepts the request. Also contains the vehicle information such as model, passenger count, color and number of the car and average time of arrival (ETA).
  5. Ride History: Shows a complete transcription of previous trips.
  6. Fare Calculator: Helps to calculate the cost of the voyage.
  7. Driver`s review and rating: Shows customers` comments about the driver, his car and the trip safety of other passengers.

Advanced features:

  1. Pickup Location: By using inbuilt GPS module, passenger can point his exact location without typing an address.
  2. Split Payments: Provides an option of separate payments between few passengers.
  3. Vehicle Selection: Gives an opportunity to pick up another driver for the trip.
  4. Interactive Map and Taxi Tracking: Shows all the cabs nearby and tracks the driver during the journey in real time.
  5. Inbuilt Messenger: Ensures communication between passenger and driver right in the app.
  6. Gamification: Allows boosting the customer acquisition and retention with badges, special offers, leadership boards, etc.
  7. Discount: Gives a discount for trips by adding a code or digital coupon.
  8. Voice Recognition: Enables the usage of voice commands for taxi hailing.

Driver app

Some features may overlap with passenger`s taxi booking app. For instance, registration and personal profile editing (with an additional option of documents and driver`s license uploading), push notification and messenger, etc. At the same time, there are also some unique elements:

  1. Status: Makes a driver visible in an app and on the map if he is ready to pick up a passenger.
  2. Order Alert: Informs about a new trip and shows payment and road details. Also allows getting or canceling orders.
  3. Navigation: Shows the path to the passenger and best route for the trip.
  4. Estimation: Ensures the count of trip costs and discounts.
  5. Reports: Show the statistic about trips and earnings.

Admin dashboard

The admin panel is usually a web-based software that helps to store database and manage passengers and drivers' activities.
The dashboard gives a general overview of all processes, provides the logistic of drivers and trips and manages all financial issues. It also could be linked to Google Analytics tool. The last feature is essential for marketing activity monitoring and can be the starting point for the revision of the entire business process.
There is one more important moment that should be noted while planning taxi booking app development. According to legislation in some countries, admin dashboard is strongly required even if it seems to be functionally unnecessary in your business model.

How to build a mobile taxi app

For the appropriate application performance as a taxi app development company, we highly recommend choosing the native app development. That means that we develop a custom application for every operation system. Such approach allows us to ensure project with better speed, security, and access to inbuilt capabilities of a smartphone such as maps and geolocation. All this is essential for on-demand service of taxi app.
The development process starts with building a minimum viable product. MVP includes the app both for demand and supply and the dashboard, but with the limited functionality.
For example, the first release of Uber app didn`t contain any gamification features or cost splitting. But it helped to connect drivers and passenger and allowed to make payments right from the app.
After the first version is released, you can test the strength of the idea and market facilities and start to add features.

How much does it cost to develop a taxi app

To calculate the cost to develop a taxi app depends on a large amount of factors and key features that are to be implemented. But anyway, there is an essential set of parameters and required time for each scope of work that can be taken into account and calculated at an early stage of development.
The charts below show the average time of our developers that needed for every stage of work.

Maps and Location

The technology of GPS tracking is used to determine the current location, find cars and track the route. Besides, the exact journey tracking gives the fare estimation.
To pin your location on the map, track the car movement and to ensure the driver with GPS direction, Google Maps are the best option for your taxi app. We also use iOS framework MapKit for Apple apps and Android framework location APIs.
It is usually needed about 140 hours to integrate routing and geolocation:

Payments

Inbuilt payments let the user make a purchase right from the app. It saves a ton of time and delivers your application to a brand new level of usability. Current technologies allow providing transactions between all stakeholders and offering the security of such deals.
To store and process all credit card data, your company supposes to fit all requirements that called PCI compliance. There are also some payment gateway providers like Stripe or Braintree that help to set safe and convenient payments. Particularly Braintree uses PayPal that grants splitting the fare between few passengers.There are also Google Wallet and Apple Pay mechanisms but for now, they are available only for the United States.
Payments integration is a very laborious process. Chart bellow shows the average time for this scope of work:

Log in and profiles

The necessity of authorization has several reasons. Firstly, for online payments, it is a must. Secondly, it makes the option of ratings and reviews more personalized. After all, it improves customer loyalty and increases their retention.
The most convenient way is to log through existing social networks like Facebook or via email and phone number. Make sure that the authentication is required only once during the first log into the application.

Communication

When building the first MVP, push notification is enough to set the connection between demand and supply. For iOS devices, it is provided through Apple Push Notification Service. Android Analog is Google Cloud Messaging Service.
For the next stage of project evolution, we implement the option of SMS notifications. Uber taxi app works with Twilio telecommunication service provider, but there're also few other options like Sinch, Plivo, and Nexmo.
Also it is possible to build in a messenger so that the driver could chat with the passenger right in your taxi app. But this step requires an enormous amount of developers` time. So this option is better to implement after the project is launched and assembled the core of loyal users.
The average development time for the first two steps is in a chart below:

Considering the mandatory time, we can calculate the mean cost that required for taxi app. At The App solutions, the price starts from $30-35K and includes Passenger and Driver apps for one operating system, as well as an admin dashboard.
Funds for the project are as follows:

Takeaway:

To estimate the project and to hire taxi app developers team you need to clarify some details first:

  1. Business model and market demand for the new Uber-like application.
  2. A number of stakeholders.
  3. A number of platforms and desirable features.

Don`t chase the features and sophisticated technological solutions. Same as you, our team tends to create the solution, that will fit your requirements and achieve your business goals. That is why we endorse building MVP first that can save you up to 30% of costs and time.

Anna

Author