The entire concept of a taxi booking service is about availing a cab through a dedicated app on your mobile device. With pick-up and drop off points inserted, all that you have to do is to sit back, relax and enjoy the hassle-free ride.
There are very few players in the market right now. But at the very helm is Ola, a dominating force in the space. That said, the creative business minds are looking to break in the sector with their clones of the Ola app too.
Lets have a look at how to create an app like Ola and its development cost
Interesting Facts about OLA
- OLA initially started as the Olatrip.com website which offers weekend trip packages.
- OLA started his first office in a small room of 10×12 feet in Mumbai.
- Bhavish did everything to provide customer support by photographing drivers and Ankit did coding for 48 hours. Bhavish has self-driven the cabs to drop customers.
- The first logo of OLA is very different from now.
- If the vehicles of OLA is stand in one line, it will cover 3895 km.
- The most common names of drivers registered on OLA are Sanjay, Suresh, Ramesh, Rajesh, and Santosh.
- The most amazing policy of OLA is that-they never ask the religion and caste of the drivers.
If you want to create an app like OLA, some features are must developing-features for the successful taxi booking app. Let’s have look at some important features required to create the OLA app.
The Business Model Explained
Before you embark on your journey to create an app like Ola, it is vital to be clear on the business model.
A business model for an online taxi booking service operates on a two-sided marketplace. While the demand is generated by the riders, the supply end of it is fulfilled by the drivers. Ola, here, offer the platform to facilitate between the tow. This makes it really convenient for both involved parties to use the platform.
Ola like taxi booking platforms generates revenue by earning a commission or fee on every completed ride. Having said that, the drivers are not directly employed by the taxi booking service provider. In fact, drivers are partners who have the liberty to choose their individual work schedules.
The company has limited control over their partner drivers. Plus, they can accept or decline the time period that they wish to be involved with the organisation. While the service provides a way for drivers to earn their livelihood, it also offers a unique value proposition to riders too.
Everything Depends On Your Planning
It is the aggravation in demand which is driving so many entrepreneurs to meet supply in this space. That said, when it comes to developing an app like Ola, the approach to planning has to be spot on.
The key points to remember are:
- Adopt a Primitive Approach to dive into the space
- Have a sustainable model that can be scaled as demand escalates
- Focus on a systematically distributed supply chain management to meet customer demand
- Retain and engage your customers
You also need to think about the differentiators of your app. The secret lies in how you plan out your feature list.
Getting Your Feature List In Place
The Ola app has three major components that come together in a cohesive manner for the platform to function effectively.
- The admin app
- The Ola app for Drivers
- The Ola app for Riders
Each individual component comes with its set of dedicated features. To ensure ease of understanding, let’s take a look at the features, category-wise.
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Features for Ola App for Riders
The sign-in process is just like any other application. You can join in using your email id/phone number along with choosing a password. This is mandatory as you will not be able to progress with booking a rider unless you a registered user of the application.
#2. Track a Ride
Ola offers its riders the option to track a ride as soon as the booking by the driver has been accepted. The rider is able to see how far the driver is from the given pick-up point and how much time they will take to reach. The integrated map displays the route that the driver takes as well.
#3. Fare Estimation
Ola gives the riders an estimate of the fare once the pick-up and drop-off points have been entered on the app. Since online cab service offers a variety of products, the fare estimating will vary depending on the service that you chose.
A powerful algorithm in the background does all the calculation and therefore is a key feature of the application.
#4. Call Button
This button enables the rider to connect with the driver if they wish to communicate any additional information other than the pick-up location which is already entered in the application.
#5. Add Rides
The rider can add up to two locations other than the end destination at the time of booking the ride. This is helpful in case the rider especially if more riders are joining in/ or being dropped off the trip progresses towards the final destination.
#6. Cancellation Window
The rider has the option to cancel the ride even after booking. If the cancellation happens within the specified timelines, the rider is not charged a fee.
On the Other hand, cancellation outside the window can levy a fee to compensate the driver for the time and effort taken to reach the pick-up point.
#7. Multiple Modes of Payment
Just like any online eCommerce service, customers expect the service provider to have different modes of payment available on the application.
The riders can select from their dedicated offerings like Ola Money and Post-paid services and other regular channels like Wallet, GPay, Debit and Credit Cards or even cash.
#8. Driver Service History
Whenever riders book a cab on the application, they can check up on the driver’s service history. Ratings and reviews on drivers help to instil rider confidence before they start their rides.
#9. Track Service History
Riders who use to app frequently can keep track of their ride history using this dedicated section. The feature shows every individual ride taken along with its receipts. If the riders notice any discrepancies in the billing, he or she can take it up with the Customer Service team.
#10. Book Now Ride Later
Ola riders have the option to schedule rides which can be taken at a future date. While the confirmation is received immediately, the driver details are shared only on the date of travel. The ride can be tracked post the driver details is sent to the rider.
#11. Panic Button
To ensure rider safety, all online cab booking apps must have a dedicated Panic Button. This gets activated as soon as the rider boards the cab and connects directly the app’s call centre or can also be connected to the nearest police station. For any app like this, this is a must-have security functionality.
#12. Favourite Destinations
Riders can identify their frequently travelled destinations and label them according to their convenience. For all future bookings, they can select the destination saved with a single tap instead of typing it all over again.
#13. Push Notifications
This is a standard app feature which sends regular updates to its users. Be it new products, fare changes, policy upgradations or even reminders to pay your Ola post-paid bills, push notifications is the chosen medium of communication.
Features of the Ola App for Drivers
#1. Editing Personal Profile
The driver version of the online cab booking app must have a section dedicated to where they can enter their personal information and photographs. This builds up a profile that ultimately gets displayed on the app’s customer front-end.
Along with personal information, drivers can also upload their identity documents which can be verified from the company end before allocating any rides to them.
#2. Scheduling Their Driving Times
The driver application provides a feature that enables them to select their duty times. They can drive whatever hours of the day are convenient for them. In fact, if they wish to take a break, the same can be done via alerting the company via the application.
#3. Activity Alert
The app has the provision for an alert system every time an on-duty driver is chosen for a ride. It also shows the driver the fare estimates for the specific ride. This ensures that the driver never misses out on any opportunity.
#4. Connecting With The Customer
The app allows the driver to call the prospective passenger via the app. This is a key feature because it establishes a connection in case the driver needs additional directions to reach the pick-up location or is unable to find the rider on reaching there.
#5. Route Optimization
Once the driver is alerted of their next ride, the map automatically determines the fastest and most efficient route possible to reach the pick-up location. By leveraging the route optimisation functionality, the driver navigates efficiently to the pick-up point.
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#6. Cancellation Window
As a driver is alerted of a ride, there is a window during which the trip can be cancelled. This option can be exercised if the driver has not gone off-duty but is indisposed to drive at the particular time.
#7. Wait Times
As the driver reaches the customer location, the first 3 minutes is non-chargeable. In a situation where the rider arrives after the allocated wait window, the fare metre is already on.
In some cases, the rider may have charged extra on the wait time along with fare estimate shown for the trip.
#8. Forward Dispatch
This is functionality that permits drivers during an ongoing trip to accept another ride request. This is important as it helps cut down on driver slack time and encourages productivity to earn more.
#9. Heat Maps
Drivers can have a basic overview of the demand through a map view. They can drive towards those specific locations where the ratio of riders is relatively high. This will generate more ride requests from prospective passengers.
#10. Driver Destinations
The app also allows the driver to accept a ride request towards a specific destination. This means that they can make money whilst being en route to their chosen location.
#11. Driver Delivery Reports
The delivery report feature is basically a summary of the driving styles that the app captures over a period of time. If the reports indicate rash driving on a consistent basis, the company can remove the driver from their list of partners.
Drivers can track their earnings via the app. It also correlates it with the number of trips that they have completed. Plus, it also highlights any applicable bonus earning possibilities too.
#1. Real-Time Notifications
The Admin dashboard of the app is the unified platform through which customers receive real-time notification of the availability of cabs in any specific area. The admin can also get an overview of the real-time location of all the drivers and vehicles.
#2. Cost & Surge Management
Admins can calculate surge pricing or takes into account discounts, if applicable on the rider’s account during a given time period. It can update ride fares basis the distance, location or vehicle type.
#3. Document Processing Tool
Driver information can be updated, edited or even deleted on the admin panel. Plus, it also aggregates and tags key information like ID proofs, contact details and the vehicle info like pollution card, insurance, etc. in a consolidated manner.
#4. Driver Management
The company needs to have a robust Driver Management system in place which can easily be done through the admin dashboard.
Listing new drivers, managing existing ones and removing those who do not wish to work for the company can be done here. It can assign rides to available drivers using the panel.
The data generates through the millions of bookings coming through the app can be analysed using the Analytics system incorporated within the admin panel of the application. All future business decisions can be taken considering these key insights.
With the feature list out of the way, the next point of concentration is the technology stack. For an online cab booking service, this is what we recommend:
- iOS: Swift, Xcode, Alamofire
- Android: Kotlin, Java Studio
- Tools: Twilio, Amazon S3, Send Grid, Facebook API, Firebase Cloud, Stripe, Socket.io, Google Maps API
Testing: Jira, Confluence, GitLab, Jenkins, Crashlytics
Release: AWS, EC2, S3, Apple Store, Google Playstore
Build Your Development Team
There are several avenues to create your Ola clone app. Have an in-house team, outsource it to freelancers or even an agency within or outside your country. Whatever the case may be, the complex app like Ola demands the following resources:
- Business analysts
- UI/UX designers
- Web developers with Node.js skill
- Android developers with Kotlin skill
- iOS developers with Swift skill
- Testers / Quality Assurance Engineers
- A project manager
How much does it cost to create an app like Ola ?
The scope of work is the primary determining factor of the amount of time and budget required to create the OLA taxi booking app.
Depending on the location of your app development team, the cost estimate becomes clearer.
- North America: $60 – 250 per hour
- United Kingdom: $60 – 150 per hour
- Western Europe: $40 – 120 per hour
- Eastern Europe: $20 – 100 per hour
- India: $10 – 80 per hour
Lastly, the complexity of the app is also a determining factor in the budgetary calculations.
- A basic MVP app may cost around $7,500
- A blend of basic features along with some advanced features can increase the cost to $ 20,000 to $25,000
An app with completely unique and advanced features can be as high as $50,000 to $60,000 or even more
Read Also : How to create an app like Uber
Final Take: How to approach
While Ola can be your benchmark, there is scope for any new entrant in the market to innovate. It is essential to create your unique value proposition with your online taxi booking app like OLA, figure out your niche and a profitable monetization strategy for revenue generation.
With the help of your development team, find the right solution that fits in with your requirements and helps to achieve your business goals.