How can you Build An App Like Ola/Uber?

Build An App Like Ola and Uber

Today, Uber stands as the 2nd most disruptive company worldwide? Catering to more than 80 countries and 900 cities, the Uber model of business is simple enough to be replicated by startups. Now that interests you, doesn’t it!

It has got you wishing for an app like Uber. Well, for that you need to understand the Uber/Ola app and plan out your ride-sharing business accordingly. These models have proven success records. Therefore, it can be safely said that, if followed properly, they can guarantee a loyal customer base and a medium of success.

These apps are easy to use with a great user interface. This ensures a superlative user journey within the app. It is also the reason for their immense popularity. So this principle should form the core of any app you develop for your ride-sharing business. Remember, time is the essence and if people have to spend a long time in booking a ride, they would rather try some other app.

Working of the Ride-sharing App

To replicate a model, you need to understand how apps like Uber and Ola work. Since the app deals with ride-sharing, it needs to have a robust build to cater to three different components of the business. Each of these components has its own set of dedicated features. Again, these components need to come together cohesively to make the app platform effective and efficient. These components include the app for:

  1. Riders
  2. Drivers
  3. Admins

The whole process of booking a ride can be summarized into the following steps:

  • The process begins with the customer requesting a ride through the app
  • Details he has to enter while booking include:
    • Source and destination
    • Car type
    • Payment method
    • Pickup location
  • The app starts searching for drivers who are closest to your pickup spot.
  • Once the driver is selected by the app and intimated of the ride, he has the option to either accept or reject the ride. If the ride is rejected, the app automatically searches for another driver.
  • After completion of the ride, the payment is made on the basis of the method selected.
  • Customers have to rate their riding experience before they close the app. This rating and review will help other riders in the future.

Basic Features Essential for Different Components of App

Now that you have understood the basic working of the app, it is time to elaborate on the individual features of the components:

1. Riders

Riders need to have access to certain mandatory features that need to be incorporated during mobile app development. These include:

  • Sign-In: Riders need to have an email id or a mobile phone number to register. They also have to choose a password. Only registered app users have access to the app.
  • Input Details: This workflow includes providing such details as the source and destination, car type, payment etc.
  • Fare Estimation: Once the source and destination details are input, the app needs to give the fare estimation. This calculation uses a powerful algorithm and is a key feature of the app.
  • Tracking the Ride: The app needs to provide real-time tracking of the drivers so that riders can estimate the time of arrival of the cab.
  • Calling the Driver: This option is used if the rider needs to communicate with the driver at any point before his arrival.
  • Add Rides: This feature helps a rider to add in more rides by adding up to 2 more locations other than the destination.
  • Road Map: An optimized real-time map from the source to the destination of the rider is generated. It helps in real-time tracking of the car by the rider taking the ride.
  • Cancellation: This gives riders the option to cancel a ride within a specified time without being charged. If the cancellation takes place outside the specified time, then the rider charges a cancellation fee to compensate the driver.
  • Payment Modes: Riders need to be provided with several options for payment like cash, credit/debit cards, internet banking, wallets, etc. The option for fare-sharing also needs to be incorporated.
  • Scheduling a Ride: The cab-sharing app should also allow riders to schedule bookings for the cab at a later date and time.
  • Service History of the Driver: A short note about the service history of the driver helps build confidence in the rider. This history is created based on the ratings and reviews given by previous customers who have availed rides with the same driver.
  • Booking History: The complete list of all the trips availed and their corresponding money receipts are available here.
  • Panic Button: This is for the safety of the riders and connects either to the app call centre or the closest police station.
  • Location Sharing: Real-time location of the rider can also be shared with their close friends and relatives to ensure the safety and security of the riders.
  • Push Notifications: You will be able to send notifications regarding the fare changes, prevalent discounts, driver notifications, ongoing schemes using this feature.

2. Drivers

To construct an application like Uber, you need a distinct set of features for drivers. This would include:

  • Personal Profile Editing: Here the driver needs to upload his photograph and other personal details so that a profile can be created and displayed to the riders. It also enables drivers to upload important documents for verification.
  • Drive Time Scheduling: This feature helps to serve two purposes:
    • It enables drivers to select their duty timings and
    • Send in an alert to the concerned parent company when taking a break.
  • Activity Alert: Every time the driver accepts a ride request, this alert system gets activated. Fare estimation for the concerned ride is also provided by this option.
  • Customer Communication: Drivers can call up their riders via the app in case they need additional pickup location directions or need any other details.
  • Route Optimization: After alerting the driver of a ride nearby, the app automatically selects an optimized route on Google maps and enables real-time tracking of the same.
  • Cancellation: Even drivers have the option to cancel a ride if they are indisposed at the moment, but have as yet not gone off duty.
  • Wait Times: Drivers have been allotted a mandatory unmetered wait time within which, if the rider does not arrive, the driver can cancel the ride or choose to start a metered wait time.
  • Forward Dispatch: This feature allows drivers to accept trips, even before the completion of the previous one. The condition is that the drop-off of the previous trip is near the location of the pickup of the next trip.
  • Heat Maps: This is an important feature of ride-sharing mobile app development. It enables drivers to see where there is high demand and drive towards that location, thus enabling them to find more ride requests.
  • Driver Destination: With this feature, the driver can opt for a ride request towards a specific destination.
  • Driver Reports: Information regarding the driver’s driving pattern can be easily captured using this option. It will enable you to spot rogue drivers and remove them from your list of registered drivers.
  • Earnings: For drivers, this is the most important feature. It tracks their earnings by co-relating it with the number of trips made and also calculating the bonus earned, if applicable.

3. Admin Panel

If you are interested in ensuring a superlative mobile app development for your ride-sharing company, then you need to have a strong admin panel. This controls the workings of the major features of the app. It needs to include such relevant features like:

  • Real-time Notifications: All notifications sent to customers and drivers originate here. You will also get information regarding the real-time location of your drivers. This info will make it easy to match riders with nearby drivers.
  • Cost and Surge Management: If you are a regular user of a ride-sharing app, you will know that in times of high demand Uber and Ola offer surge pricing. Herein the normal prices are multiplied by a certain factor based on the location, demand etc. There are also times when these apps come up with promotional schemes that offer huge discounts to regular customers. Keeping a track of these highs and lows of cost can be quite challenging if you do not address it using this feature. You also need to develop a revenue model to be incorporated during the making of the mobile app. The admin panel will ensure the proper implementation of the same.
  • Document Processing: This is another key feature of how to build an app like Ola. This feature helps to keep the driver database updated at all times. Thus, drivers can be added, deleted and info regarding drivers can also be edited using this feature. Additionally, all documents that the driver uploads are verified here.
  • Driver Management: It is a master management system that does everything from maintaining driver profiles, listing new drivers, keeping a track of their earnings and bonuses, assigning rides, etc. A robust driver management system is an essential part of your mobile app development.
  • Analytics: This feature will provide you with all analytics related to the data collected for the bookings done. This analytics helps in taking future decisions benefiting the ride-sharing company.

This section is perhaps the most important part of your how to build an app like Uber or Ola learning process. It forms the core of what your ride-sharing app should have and how it needs to be developed.

Technically, you need to concentrate on 3 important points to ensure proper workings of all the above features. They are:

  • Geo-location: You will need to decide on the appropriate mapping and navigation tools to enable driver detection, connecting drivers to riders, navigating between locations and other logistics issues. Some examples are Google Maps, CoreLocation, MapKit etc.
  • SMS and Push Notifications: Notifications have to be auto-generated and sent at numerous points during the app workflow. These help keep the riders and drivers in sync to smoothen the ride-sharing process. Thus, they need to be integrated into the system to ensure delivery and enable the transmission of the correct info to both riders and drivers.
  • Payment Integration: Extremely important and crucial with no scope for any error; payment gateway integration should be done with the utmost care during the mobile app development process. You also need to deliberate and research thoroughly before selecting the gateway partner.

Keeping all the above mentioned features corresponding to each component of the app in tandem with the entire process, a robust and feature-rich app can be built. You, thus have the answer to the question of how to make an app like Uber. You might feel intimidated but remember proper planning and strategizing is the key to the success of your ride sharing mobile app development. So act accordingly!

About the Author

QA InfoTech

QA InfoTech

Established in 2003, with less than five testing experts, QA InfoTech has grown leaps and bounds with three QA Centers of Excellence globally; two of which are located in the hub of IT activity in India, Noida, and the other, our affiliate QA InfoTech Inc Michigan USA. In 2010 and 2011, QA InfoTech has been ranked in the top 100 places to work for in India.

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