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How To Make An Online Taxi Booking App Like Uber?

Eight years ago, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp disrupted the mobile app market by becoming the pioneer of taxi booking app called UBER. Uber was launched in 2009 and has earned the reputation of being the most successful billion dollar start-up.  Uber did something unusual: it shook the foundation of the conventional operational model of taxi business.

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Its enormous success revolutionized on-demand service market and inspired young talents to emulate the phenomenon. This is why so many startup enthusiasts have started digging deep into taxi booking app development. For those who are curious to know how to make an online taxi booking app like Uber, this post will be their comprehensive guide.

First things first

To develop an Uber-like app, you will be required to build two different apps: One for passengers and another for taxi drivers.

Your app should consist of some of the following essential features:

Passenger App features:

  • Register: For passengers to use the app, they can directly register from the mobile app filling in their personal email, social media account or contact number.
  • Booking interface: A mobile app screen used by passengers to feed their specific travel choices to call a cab or book it for another scheduled time.
  • Tracking: This feature allows users to track the present availability of drivers nearby depending on the pick-0up location they have entered in real time.
  • Pickup Location: Users can comfortably set their pickup spot from where they would commence the ride using Google map.
  • Cab Type Preferences: A luxury feature where passengers can select the type of Taxi they need.
  • Fare Calculator: After selecting the cab, this feature calculates the fare for the ride based on the distance between the pick-up point and destination place.
  • Live Tracking system: In this, users can be updated on live status of the booked cab before it arrives at the pickup spot until the journey is over.
  • Payment:After your reach the destination place, fare gets deducted through payment API. The invoice copy is usually sent to the registered email ID of the passenger.
  • Split Payments:In case of multiple passengers, the split payment allows them to make separate payments each.
  • In-app Messenger:Helps maintain communication between passenger and driver within the app.
  • Discount:This additional facility offers certain discounts for trips by means of digital coupons.
  • Review and Rating:This is a must-have feature that allows passengers to input their feedback and add ratings and review for the services and personal experience.
  • Booking History:A passenger can track their booking history with this.
  • Gamification:A customer engagement feature that helps retain usersthrough dedicated offers, badges, personalized loyalty rewards, etc.

Driver App essentials:

  • Register: Like passengers, drivers also need to register from mobile app. Their account and profile are approved after precise verification by the app admin.
  • Driver’s profile and status: To make a legal taxi booking app, drivers are liable for detailed verification to authenticate their profile info. The status will reflect their live availability.
  • Ride Request alerts: Flashes notifications and info about new booking and route, and enables drivers to accept or cancel the orders.
  • Price Estimation: States the order price with relevant deductions and discounts.
  • Booking: The Driver has a few seconds to accept or reject incoming booking requests. They can view the details about the distances between current location and pickup point and drop-in places.
  • Status: The Driver can also update the passenger about their booking confirmation, arrivals at pickup point as well as at the destination.
  • Booking History: The driver can track the booking history and check the status of each completed or cancelled rides or bookings.
  • Voice commands: this can be added in both passenger and driver’s app to free them from typing for their orders.

Vitality of Admin Panel:

The admin panel of a taxi booking app is supposed to be the robust backbone that:

  • Stores, controls and manages the in-app actions
  • Assists drivers with best navigation routes
  • Collects and maintains important data about revenues
  • Shows and manages app reviews and ratings
  • Helps run seamless business through well-processed information

Your taxi booking app may survive without having an admin panel. However, managing and controlling the large amount of data will be a hassle in its absence.

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Admin portal not only manages and reviews in-app activities, but it also suggests navigational routes for drivers and helps with revenue and customer reviews.

This is why developing an admin panel is a vital requirement for any taxi booking app.

The Development process:

While developing a taxi booking app like Uber, you have two choices:

  • Simplified version of Uber app with in-app monetization
  • Custom solution with selected features

Here is the answer to the second choice:

1. Geo-location Services and Technology

The online cab services greatly rely on GPS (Global Positioning System) technology in order to locate the current position of the user.

Uber banks on GPS technology to:

  • Identify the current position of customers
  • Show the available cabs in the neighbourhood
  • Suggest the best possible routes for the driver
  • Calculate the fare based on recommended routings

The credit of Uber’s incredible success goes to its GPS capability and routing. Users just get access to all the cab details with one touch.

GPS technology is different for both iOS and Android OS.

Technology for iOS:

  • CoreLocation framework for location tracking
  • MapKit framework for the best routes and directions
  • Bluetooth beacon and Wi-Fi functionality (iOS services)

Technology for Android:

  • Google Location Services API for location tracking
  • Google Maps Android API to suggest routes & directions

2. Registration and User Profile

Login page or profile pages are first entrances when a customer starts using your taxi booking app. You need to be careful while asking users to build profile with your app before they take their first ride. A few nice-to-have points to remember are:

  • Allow users to facilitate no-profile booking initially to increase your database
  • Ask users to create a profile when they have booked or used a ride and paid for it
  • Integrate social media for mobile app registration
  • Clarify that you will maintain the integrity of app user data
  • Promise that your app provides high security standards
  • Include rating system to measure the level of customer satisfaction
  • Try to attract more users with special badges, rewards and membership levels

As a taxi booking business owner, you must vouchsafe for highest security and solicit only app-specific essential user data.

For driver’s app, registration should be kept stringent and systematic asking details like driving license, taxi number, photo, etc.

3. Payment Integration

Uber did a brilliant job by introducing in-app payments, which saved users from the concerns of small bills, change availability and unexpected charges by taxi driver.

They also worked on:

  • Pre-ride fare estimate
  • Dynamic pricing
  • Peak-hour rates/discounts
  • Safe ride fare

Pre-ride fare estimate helped Uber users make firm decisions about taking rides.

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Uber made dynamic pricing model based on traffic density, peak hours and car availability. Dynamic pricing model is popular among big service provider brands. Some of the distinctive payment gateway software that you may try while developing your taxi booking app are: Braintree, Stripe, Skrill, Apple Pay and Google Wallet, Adyen etc.

4. Messages & Notifications

While booking the cab, App users get confirmation messages from company and the driver about:

  • Pickup spot and destination
  • Premium rides or peak hour charges
  • Cancellation of ride
  • Shortage of drivers

You may choose either push notifications or mobile SMS for this. However push notifications are highly preferred for quick intimation.

For iPhone users, there is Apple Push Notifications Service for sending push messages. For Android customers, you can prefer Google Cloud Messaging (GCM)

5. Design and UX/UI

Uber app have wide user base because of its intuitive, effective and simple UI. Your Taxi booking app interface should deliver all information effortlessly, and incorporate smooth interpretation of data.

While designing UX/UI, you should think of the following key factors:

  • Simplicity
  • Clarity
  • Speed
  • Transparency
  • intuitiveness

Concluding notes:

If you want to replicate the Uber phenomenon, you need to put in a lot of insight, resources and experience from the field of taxi booking mobile app development. Technology could be the best companion if it is invested cleverly.Give your users what they want and prevail in the market. You can also save your time by selecting the professional outsourcing partner for the development of the sophisticated taxi booking app.