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How to Create the Next Uber: Tech Stack, Must-have Features, Cost

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Uber’s success story has driven many other startups to follow suit with a similar business model. It’s no surprise if you’re seeking information on how to start Uber business and replicate its revolutionary potential.

In 2019, the ride-hailing and taxi industry posted revenue of $302 billion worldwide. Despite the global pandemic crisis, the figure is expected to recover from its downturn and hit $365 billion in 2024. 

There’s no better time to start an Uber-like business than the present. While it’s easy to sketch Uber’s business model on paper, you’ll need IT expertise to build the entire app ecosystem. That’s when getting a product manager is helpful—or reading the tips shared by one. 

At Uptech’s product department, we’ve helped many clients develop successful apps, so I believe we can nudge you in the right direction. 

But first, let’s revisit the mercurial rise of Uber.

Revisiting Uber’s Inception

Uber was founded in 2009 by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick. Back then, it wasn’t the Uber that you’re familiar with today. It kicks off as a service for customers to hire black luxury cars in San Francisco. 

In 2011, Uber revamped its idea and started connecting customers with regular cars. It revolutionized the taxi industry by providing convenience and a low-cost option for public transportation.

From a business point of view, it is a brilliant idea that answers the growing demand for an affordable ride and creates job opportunities for Uber drivers. Since then, Uber’s business model has been adopted in other industries with their respective on-demand delivery apps. 

Interesting Taxi App Statistics

  • In Q1 2020, Uber has registered more than 1.6 billion users on its app worldwide.
  • Uber has more than 5 million drivers at the end of 2019. 
  • Uber is present in over 900 cities, spread over 93 countries.
  • Ride-hailing app penetration is estimated at 19.3% worldwide in 2020. 
  • The average revenue per user for ride-hailing is approximately $133.72.
  • Of the $192 billion global revenue projection in 2020, China is the largest source, with an estimated $55 billion. 

How To Build The Next Uber

If you wanted to be successful, you don’t want to build an exact app like Uber. Uber has been around for more than a decade, and in that span, many other ride-hailing apps are popping up in various countries.

Some are successful in their rights, but others withered away in a competitive industry. These 4 steps are crucial to start an Uber-like business.

Check out your competitors

You can gain a wealth of insights by researching your competitors. While the underlying technologies are similar, each of the competitors differs in terms of values and strategies. 

Learning the strengths and weaknesses of the major players allows you to establish a unique value proposition. By doing that, you’ll avoid being just another Uber-wannabe in the market. 

Capitalizing on the opportunity gap ensures that your ride-hailing app has a better chance for success. 

Know your potential users

It’s always a mistake to create an app without getting feedback from the potential users. Are the users happy with the existing app, or is there a wishlist that will turn your app into the next Uber? 

Assumptions will only lead to failure when the app does have the right product/market fit. Instead, you’ll want to conduct surveys individually or in a group to find out the pain points that are yet to be solved.

Besides, you may have a pool of ready-tester from the users that you’ve surveyed. 

Stay focused on user experience

Technical glitches, bad design, and transaction failure are inexcusable when building an Uber-like app. Users have zero tolerance for an app lacking in UI/UX, particularly if it means getting late to their destination. 

Again, you can turn to your competitors to find out what’s working and what’s not. It also helps to create a mockup and test it out with a target group of users. 

Test with an MVP (Or On Paper)

Forget fancy features like a loyalty program. What matters the most is getting the basic app to the market fast and improvising based on the feedback.

Prior to the launch, you’ll want to focus on the basic features critical for a ride-hailing app. Ensure that these features are functional, flawless, and user-friendly. 

By testing with an MVP, you’ll have more accurate feedback as the users are not distracted with unnecessary features. 

However, if you’re tight on budget, you can get pretty good results with a paper prototype. The key idea is to get feedback from the users as you chart the way forward. 

Tech stack for a taxi app

To build a taxi app like Uber, you’ll need the right tools and technologies.

Uber is pretty transparent on their choice of techstack and here’s an article of it.

If you’re a non-tech startup, going through the list of tools and technologies will be overwhelming. It’s best to leave that to IT professionals that are building the app for you. 

Here’s the question.

Should you use the same tech stack that powers Uber’s platform? 

I’ll say it depends. Uber’s app has evolved, along with its choice of tech stack. For example, Uber started with PostgreSQL before switching to Schemalesss to meet its tremendous growth rate.

An MVP can be built by almost any techstack, but if you’re planning for growth you’ll want to choose a scalable techstack from the start. 

Doing so prevents rebuilding the app from scratch, which costs time and money. 

Must-have Features of MVP

  • Sign up/login - allows users to create an account and log in to the app.
  • Integration with Maps - display locations on a digital map.
User app 
  • Track user/driver location - Display the location of the user and driver in real-time.
  • Pick-up location - Provides the option to set the pickup location on the map or via text input.
  • Destination location - Allow users to specify the destination on the map or through text input. 
  • In-app payment options - Support one type of popular payment methods.
  • Become a driver - Provides a form for riders who are interested in registering as a driver.
Driver App
  • Receive order - Allow drivers to view an order from a list.
  • Accept order  - Let drivers confirm an order.
  • View route to the drop locations -  Project the best route to the rider’s location.
  • Check balance - Allow drivers to check their earnings.
Admin Panel
  • List of orders - Records of all orders transacted over the apps. 
  • List of driver applications - Allow admins to view, accept, or reject driver applications.
  • Manual Payouts - Allow the admin to execute payouts manually.
  • Matching algorithm - Intelligently match nearby drivers that fit the rider’s search criteria.


Nice-to-have Features for the Taxi App

User app 
  • Pre-booking - allows users to book the ride in advance. 
  • Vehicle type - Let users choose the type of vehicle for the ride.
  • Multiple drop-offs - Enable a sequence of locations in a single ride.
  • Trip -history. - Users can check their past records on the app. 
  • In-app chat/call - Allow riders and drivers to communicate within the app.
  • View driver reviews and ratings - Ratings and reviews are shown on the driver’s profile.
  • Rate driver and leave review - Allows users to rate and review their drivers.
  • Preferred driver - Users can save their favorite drivers on the app.
  • Loyalty program/bonuses - Accumulate points which are exchangeable for gifts and rewards.
  • View and edit profile - Birthday, and other useful information for targeted marketing in the future.
Driver App
  • Reject order - With this, the driver can turn down orders.
  • Rate user - Drivers can now rate their passengers.
Admin Panel
  • Automatic payout - Payout is automatically done as configured.
  • Analytics - Provide insights into driver performance, orders, revenue, rider demographic, and more. 

What’s the cost of building an Uber-like app?

Typically, developing an Uber-like app will cost around $30,000 to $40,000. This ballpark range may vary depending on the complexity of the design and list of features added to the scope. 


FAQ 

1. How to start a business like Uber?

Uber’s success lies in its business model and the apps that connect the riders and drivers. Its unique business model has been replicated in other industries with great results.

If you’re hoping to launch a business based on Uber’s model, you’ll need to execute the following: 

  • Competitor analysis.
  • User survey.
  • Focus on UI/UX. 
  • Build and test with users.

2. What type of business is Uber?

Uber offers on-demand service apps to the public.

3. What is Uber’s revenue model?

Uber primarily earns from charging a fee on both riders and drivers. It also imposes cancellation charges and takes part in promotional partnerships for additional revenue. 

Summary

Consumers are increasingly attracted to efficient and affordable services like Uber. If you’ve got the planning and strategies right, you’ll find that there are still rooms for a unique offering. We’ve shown a crucial points needed to start an Uber-like business.

Now, it’s your time to bring it to life. Of course, it’s impossible to train yourself to build a taxi app overnight. Feel free to seek our help in getting the technical expertise for your next-Uber app.

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