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How Much Does it Cost to Build Taxi App Like Uber?

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Yuri Musienko
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The time when we were ordering a car for the move in a traditional way has become a history of the past. Today we use a smartphone, open an app, get familiarized with reviews on service and drivers, determine the price of a ride.

Taxi service has changed greatly since the introduction of an Uber app into the market. Its name was derived from American slang and it means «above». Uber has been seamlessly integrated into the life of modern cities. Nowadays it firmly occupies its niche and generates billions in revenue.

If you’re thinking of the creation of a new taxi company or want to modernize an already existing business, the creation of an application like Uber may have a positive impact on your prospects.

Now you really are able to develop a convenient app that will help with booking cars with manual and automatic shift transmissions and provide corporate moving.

This article reveals what efforts developers must make and how much app development might cost.

How does Uber work?

The app gives the client the opportunity to book a car with a driver, track its movement towards the given address, and pay for the service by entering your bank details.

Maps, which are used by this program, show the nearest cars to the client. He has an opportunity to choose a driver and a car category (from economy to premium). Due to this app, you can see a real image of a car and a driver.

If a car or the driver's identity is worrisome, the client always can change it.

When sending your request, you don’t have to specify your location (address data) because a GPS system will notify the driver where to look for the client.

Taxi drivers’ services and passengers’ behavior have their rating in the system. There is a possibility to block those, who are below the required minimum.

The payment for the rides is made of a fare that consists of the cost of the run and travel in minutes and kilometers.

You can make only a cashless payment. After the ride, the money will be written off from the card, which the client links to the app. The important thing is that the user has the opportunity to find out the price for the ride before ordering. To do so, you need to enter the addresses of a departure point and an arrival point. A price range will appear on your screen. When the ride is over, the user will receive an email with a description of the movement and the cost will be detailed.

Any driver, who has a suitable vehicle, can start working in Uber if he has insurance and a driver’s license. Work for the company is paid to the bank card as well.

Of course, all these features need to be well warranted by respective program functionality if you’ve decided to create a similar app.

The primary product can include features, which influence rating and provide your business with user-friendliness.

User application as a component of a taxi business

A mobile service can become a useful company expansion of any form. It also makes drivers’ life better as they stop being distracted by managers’ calls. Now they will be informed by notifications and pop-ups.

App, which provides convenience in ordering services and broadening of staff base, needs a necessary server software that makes it possible to process a request quickly enough.

The advantage is that the owner of a taxi company won't need a procurement of additional equipment. A smartphone and a computer with the Internet access are enough for management.

The app should be developed taking into account all your business needs and requirements and preserving the flexibility of indicators of your interference.

Uber suggests a method of management of a similar business – enter the market by using the external resources and not being an owner of means of transportation.

If you want to make money on booking cars itself, the app should become a service, which provides the client with a complete list of already working companies and information about the price.

The simplest solution won’t include the server software, but all information about taxi services must be tracked to create prices.

Solutions that are more complicated will be similar to Uber. A team, which will do a great job for the development, will be needed. As a result of additional features, the target audience will be widened.

So what steps should be taken?

  1. Find a team, which specializes in creating backend and frontend, based on using the server.
  2. Enter into a partnership with already working enterprises or hire drivers.
  3. Develop a product that includes two interfaces — user and corporate.
The use of GPS data is mandatory as the server will check the user's location using this data and notify the nearest drivers.

As we can see, it’s necessary to engage a team of mobile developers to implement the second option. But the effort is worth it if you want to get results similar to Uber’s.

 Uber-like, the first thing to consider

You should not only take into account technologies, which will be implemented, to create a mobile app. Above all, you need to single out the benefits of a booking service, which the clients and employees will derive.

Ultimately, Uber is aimed at convenience – the client can be gotten in and out of the car at any point.

Do you want a similar result? You need the necessary features for convenience, reliability, and quality of work.

The Uber-like app has to contain system solutions on:

  • registration and matching with the principal ease and convenience requirement;
  • GPS, map, and route drawing – completeness and accuracy of the information are important here;
  • notifications and communications with a priority of a speed of informing;
  • provision of payment gateways with adequate facilities;
  • information about the drivers and vehicles because clients might need it;
  • rating to eliminate unwanted clients and employees;
  • calculation of fares with an accuracy that satisfies both sides.
It will be necessary to use an application development company with appropriate expertise to achieve significant results. The following items have to be discussed with its employees.

Registration and matching

The user should register seamlessly: by downloading an app, entering the information, and receiving an administrator’s approval. Client registration shouldn’t take longer than 2-3 minutes.

Systems of Uber class offer the clients to register in several ways requiring a phone number. The rules for drivers are more complicated — they have to visit the company in person as well as supply scans of their documents. This procedure should be simplified as far as possible.

Client registration with the help of a social media account may be added.

Matching has to take into account the location of a particular driver and passenger, as well as the status of the driver (busy or ready to work). After seeing a ride request, a driver normally has about 15 seconds to accept it.

Booking of a ride can be conducted in the following ways.

  1. After the order of a ride, the request is sent to the driver, which is the closest and has the highest rating. When the driver receives a notification, he may provide a response or not. If there was no answer, the driver, who is next in the distance, will receive this request.
  2. The request will be sent to all free cars. The right to perform travel goes to the driver, who answers first.
Probably, a more reasonable decision would be to deviate from the scheme of Uber and set an automatic matching. This would be faster and drivers would get more offers.

The ride can also be planned in advance and confirmed accordingly.

Location and use of maps

GPS is still a relevant feature in a phone regardless of the use of the app, which the company can get access to. When integrating a feature of monitoring the client’s location, don’t forget to include the survey of the clients if they agree.

If you’re going to enter a market of a local scale, then the best decision is Google Maps. Therefore, the program will turn on the general image of the client’s location. After adding positions, they will be transformed into an exact address by GSM-Georecorder. However, this Google service has a limited number of free requests, which has to be taken into account.

Routes and travel time will be calculated by the routing server.

OpenStreetMap with a focus on a follow-up road base can be used for Android, iPhone, and iPad.

But it’s preferable to use maps of the Google platform.

The client needs to be sure that he’ll be found in his location. The system has to be tailored for the error to be impossible.

Notifications and communications methods

The main way to notify passengers that their car has arrived is by sending SMS or push notification. SMS is a more complicated way, but also more reliable. It doesn’t depend on unstable connection, full memory, or whether the user deactivates this feature.

Uber and Lyft companies prefer SMS.

A good idea is to include the phone number of the driver in the text as well, in case something goes wrong. For example, it might be needed if the passenger cannot find the car.

You have to connect this service with a telecommunication provider; for example, Twilio, Plivo, Nexmo, Sinch, and others (you might even choose regional ones).

Some apps allow you to call the driver by pressing a phone icon next to the information about him.

Payment systems

Payment system integration can give a choice between cash and cashless payment. But the most convenient thing is the registration of a bank card in the app. Processing of payments is possible in Stripe. API will take out the payment by the outcome.

Popular apps use credit cards and debit cards, Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet.

To implement a payment feature, it’s necessary to engage a respective service to the project considering the payment for the service.

Car and user details

A client usually prefers to know what (or who) to expect. Information about cars (type, color, etc.), drivers, and passengers (name and photo) should be provided.

It’s desirable that the client has the opportunity to choose the car he likes and a nice driver.


Feature speaks for itself and significantly improves the quality of work. A bad taxi driver or a client with inappropriate behavior can be excluded from the database.

Usually, the clients are offered to briefly respond to the question of whether they liked the ride and rate it.

Knowing about this feature, the drivers will strive to execute an order at the highest level.


The final cost of travel on Uber depends on a base fare, cost of a minute, mile, and booking. This can be used as a model.  The client should know exactly what he’s paying for. The scheme of calculation must be transparent.

The final price shouldn’t exceed the price of the same service of other taxi companies.

So how much will it cost to launch the app?

In conclusion, let’s talk about the principal topic of this article — the cost of app development.

Parts of the project will include such important components as the development of the version for IOS, version for Android, development of backend with the engagement of web specialists.

Team includes:

  • one or two UI and UX designers for the development of interface and user experience;
  • a similar number of IOS developers;
  • a couple of Androіd developers;
  • a backend specialist;
  • a QI-tester;
  • a project manager.
Potentially, project planning might take 2-3 weeks as well as design creation. MVP development may take 3-4 months, testing — a week, release — also a week. Provision of full and smooth start-up support will take 1,5-2 months.

Of course, professionals’ work should be adequately paid.

On average, API might cost approximately $20000, development of an app for one platform — $15000.

The specified amount is approximate since everything depends on certain goals and specifics of the project.

But there’s hope that money and time spent will yield rapid returns because you’ll get an effective and revenue-generating innovation.

Finally – don’t be afraid to launch a simple version of the app, to begin with. You’ll have the opportunity to update it later.

Merehead does professional development of taxi app development. If you have questions, contact us for a free consultation.

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