- How do rideshare apps work?
- How to make a rideshare app in 7 steps
- How much does it cost to create your own rideshare app?
- How to make money using ridesharing apps?
According to Mordor Intelligence, the global ridesharing solutions market will reach the value of 61.24 billion USD by 2026. While massive, it’s not too surprising. Ridesharing services are known for their efficiency, comfort, and accessibility. The likes of Uber, Lyft, and Bolt have long become household names.
Want to create your own rideshare app? That’s understandable. This rapidly growing industry provides some incredible investment options. But to achieve any success, the service has to be of high quality. “We want transportation as reliable as running water,” says Travis Kalanick, one of Uber founders. Quite a good motto to start a rideshare business.
We will explain how to create a rideshare app, which features to implement, and how much it will cost you.
How do rideshare apps work?
Ridesharing apps allow users to find people heading to the same destinations or sharing the same route. This lets customers split the fare, thus saving money.
Such applications can be used by two types of users: riders and drivers.
The rider’s user journey goes like this:
- Open the application;
- Choose a destination;
- Pick a vehicle option;
- Run the driver search.
The driver’s user journey looks a bit different:
- Open a request pop-up;
- Accept it;
- Pick up the rider.
Once the rider reaches their destination, they can tip and rate the driver. The driver can rate the rider as well.
There are 3 types of ridesharing applications:
- Typical ridesharing. Essentially works like a taxi: the driver shares the car with someone heading the same way. The payment is arranged by a third-party business;
- Carpool. A group of people rides with the driver. No third-party payments;
- Peer-to-peer. Drivers rent out their car at a fixed cost. Often uses car connectivity technology.
Want to learn more about vehicle connectivity? Check out this article.
Most ridesharing solutions are of the first type. Though, of course, you can consider the second and third options when deciding on your application feature list.
How to make a rideshare app in 7 steps
We can split the process into 7 steps to make it easier.
Step 1. Research and marketing
First things first. You need to:
- Do market research;
- Learn from your competitors;
- Check for loopholes in your application;
- Take them into account;
- Figure out your competitors’ strongest points (including design elements);
- Identify your target audience;
- Figure out their needs.
Your target customer base will point you to specific trends you need to monitor. It will also give you a clear list of issues your application should cover.
Next comes marketing:
- Figure out how to market your app to that audience;
- Сheck your competitors’ social media strategy;
- Apply these principles when marketing your own project.
Step 2. Choose a platform
Your app can be native or hybrid. The former means that it’s tied to a specific OS (Android or iOS). The latter can work on both. If you want to go with native, take your target audience’s preferences into account. For example, European users are more likely to use Android, while users from the US prefer Apple smartphones.
Native software normally implies better performance. That’s because the application is optimised for a particular OS. That said, a pro development team can achieve seamless operation on multiple platforms.
Step 3. Choose a feature set
Most ridesharing mobile apps have different UIs and feature sets depending on the user type. That is to say, their rider, driver, and administrator versions differ. Sometimes each is a separate piece of software altogether. Now for a closer look at each version.
Passenger version feature set:
- Booking a ride for oneself;
- Booking a ride for a different person;
- GPS tracking;
- Fare calculator;
- Payments and tipping options;
- Messaging and calling the driver;
- Rating and reviews;
- Push notifications;
- Ride history;
Driver application features:
- User profile;
- Trip notifications;
- GPS tracking and navigation;
- Waiting timer;
- Messaging the rider;
- Rating and reviews;
- Trip reports.
Admin panel (management) feature set:
- Trip fares;
- User support;
- Discounts and promotions.
These are the standard feature sets for a fully-functional ridesharing application. Naturally, they can be subject to all sorts of changes. In the end, it all depends on what your ridesharing project aims to do.
Step 4. Hire a developer
Ridesharing applications are fairly complex in terms of design. Plus, they require a certain amount of industry knowledge to build. Hiring random freelance programmers won’t do the trick. Look for a specialised development company with loads of experience in building mobile solutions for the automotive industry.
An even better idea – scout your own team of ridesharing app developers. Any reputable software development team comes with the necessary:
It’s the most effective solution in terms of costs and time.
Step 5. Design the application
Next stage is the creation of UX/UI. Your screen layout should meet all the functional and user-flow-related requirements. That’s when a wireframe comes in handy.
A wireframe helps you create the basis for the design. It’s better to fix as many issues as possible at the wireframing stage. That way you won’t waste time and effort on redesigns later in development.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good interface. A clean and intuitive UI is crucial in ridesharing apps. And it’s not just a matter of aesthetics. Frequent pop-ups, unclear directions, and confusing design elements can severely hinder navigation and safety.
Step 6. Kick off the development process
This is when the developers do their magic. Though, that doesn’t mean the client can sit back and relax. If you want to spend months just waiting for the final due date, go ahead. But be ready for an app that barely resembles your vision.
The key to a productive development process is communication. You need to:
- attend meetings;
- provide input and feedback;
- ask questions;
- suggest changes.
And this works both ways.
Remember that you’re largely responsible for keeping the project on track. Your involvement means the dev team doesn’t waste more resources than it needs to. So if both sides keep a good level of communication, the project is far more likely to meet your expectations.
Step 7. Test and deploy
Once the development stage is over, the QA process begins. The testing team needs to make sure that everything in the app operates properly. Sometimes a separate team performs the testing. However, reputable dev companies offer in-house QA services.
You can deploy your app, but only when all the bugs and performance issues are fixed. Depending on the platform, you can release it on Google Play Store or Apple App Store. It takes circa 48 hr to get your application published.
Don’t expect an instant money influx once the solution is publically available. Be ready to update, alter, and tweak your app. Prepare proper resources for maintenance and customer support.
How much does it cost to create your own rideshare app?
The rideshare solution development cost depends on:
- your platform of choice;
- the number of features in the app;
- the development team rates.
Let’s look at each in more detail.
As far as platforms are concerned, iOS development is more expensive on average. A multiplatform solution is even more costly, obviously. So if you’re making an MVP, start with one platform. If not, it’s still worth a consideration.
Remember, you really want to save money at this stage. Unless you’re 100% certain the app will be a success, it’s safer to stick to just iOS or Android in the beginning. Just pick whichever one your target user base prefers.
Features require time. A plain login with an email, phone number, and password can take developers 9+ hours. A login integration with Google or Facebook, for example, can take another 8+ hours. It doesn’t matter how small an individual feature is. Add more of them, and the hours will pile up.
As stated before, each rideshare solution consists of three interconnected applications. Thus the whopping 800-hour dev time shouldn’t be surprising. Consider all that goes into it:
- separate feature lists;
- multiple testing stages.
A long development process is a no-brainer.
Developer rates vary significantly depending on location. According to Goodfirms, Canadian and Australian development costs are the highest, with $90 to $120 per hour. Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America, on the other hand, rank as the cheapest. Their average rate is around $50 per hour.
Prices don’t necessarily equal high quality development. Sometimes, cheap developers will actually save you money. Other times, you’ll find the high cost of some vendors is just for their brand name.
How to make money using ridesharing apps?
As the rideshare application owner, you can monetize the service in several ways. The most common is commission fees. This means a share from each transaction goes to you. That share can be charged from the passenger, the driver, or both. For example, Uber charges a sales tax from the passenger per every ride. Atop that, 25% from the driver.
You can also partner with other companies. Aside from earning money, it’s a great way to expand your brand exposure. A good example is the BMW 7 Series’ collaboration with Lyft, where the latter offered free rides on this BMW model in selected cities.
Next, there’s advertising. It’s a common strategy in the mobile app industry, but not for ridesharing companies. Now consider that most of the time, when someone logs into your app, they want to get somewhere ASAP. Nothing is more annoying than being forced to watch advertisements and close pop-ups. Especially when you’re in a rush. So try to avoid ads as much as you can.
Finally, consider a competitive pricing strategy. It should be aligned with your main monetising approach. After all, making the app more competitive also means more monetisation possibilities. Perhaps, your app can offer some advanced features, such as:
- a SOS button;
- the ability to schedule rides in advance;
- offline mode;
- discounts for new and loyal users.
At the end of the day, it all depends on your target audience. Ask yourself: which type of monetisation would result in the best customer experience? That’s the one you should go with.
Your ridesharing application must aim to become a basic part of its users’ life. The experience needs to be seamless and natural. To achieve that you need to:
- research the ridesharing industry;
- consider your app additional value;
- come up with a lucrative monetization model;
- fetch an experienced team to handle development.
Bamboo Apps specialises in app development for Automotive. If you are looking for a reliable partner to enter the rideshare market with, feel free to book a free consultation with our team.