How expensive is it to develop an Uber-clone application?
The Uber Driver App is the most popular cloning object even though at the same time it is the most expensive and time-consuming kind of development. Besides, all the top tech trends like Tinder, Instagram and Snapchat are also mobile apps.
This article will help you to make an idea about the value of a similar project.
To develop an Uber-clone application, you have to make a list of all the basic functional elements. The application in question includes the following functions:
- A GPS navigation device and a map with traffic routes
- Registration and matching system
- Notifications and means of communication
- Payment system
- Information about the car and the driver
Let’s have a look at each of the elements of the list and talk about it in details.
- A GPS Navigation Device and a Map with Traffic Routes
An Uber-clone application uses the GPS to locate both the driver and the passenger. Maps and positioning are necessary for them to be able to find each other easily and a routing server is used to make a route of the ride and to calculate how much time it will take. It is preferable to use platform native maps, for example, Google Maps for Android.
2. Registration and Matching System
Uber-clone applications usually suggest to customers several ways of registration and request the phone number. As for drivers, here the process is more complicated. It includes visiting the office of the transport company and providing them with the necessary documents before the registration.
The matching system allows passengers to find easily a free driver and drivers to accept passenger requests promptly. The system must take into account the distance between the driver and a potential passenger and the status of the driver («Busy» or «Free»). Upon receipt of the request, the Uber driver has15 seconds to accept it through the application.
Although in some Uber-clone services passengers are permitted to choose a driver, it is more reasonable to allow the system selecting one automatically: thereby passengers won’t have to waste time on calling the taxi and all the drivers in the pool will receive a sufficient number of requests.
- Notifications and Means of Communication
There exist several ways of notifying the passengers that the ride has arrived. The simplest one is to text the passenger or to send a push notification. Sending push notifications is an easier, but a less reliable option than texting, as it happens sometimes that for some reasons (poor connection, overloaded phone memory) the passenger fails to receive the push notification or even to see it having turned the notifications off. Uber and their competitor Lyft use the short message service.
It would be also a good idea to provide the phone number of the driver in the text of the message. If something goes wrong or if the passenger can’t find the car, they will be able to get in touch with the driver. To send a text message to the passenger, the application refers to the provider of telecommunication services. Uber works with Twilio, but there are also other companies, providing similar services at the international market, for example, Plivo, Nexmo, Sinch etc. Otherwise, you can find a company popular in your region.
Certain Uber-clone applications allow to call the driver by touching a phone handset icon near the name:
Uber-clone applications usually prefer bank transfer payments, as it is faster and more reliable than paying cash. Nevertheless, they should always take into account the needs of the target market. For example, in Ukraine Uber-clone applications accept cash payments. Even Uber itself offers this option in certain countries:
Suggesting several means of payment at a time, you can attract more customers. Popular applications offer the following options:
- Uber — credit cards, Paypal, American Express points, Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
- Lyft — credit and debit cards, Paypal, Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
- Hailo — bankcards and Apple Pay.
To integrate the function of payment Uber works with Braintree (a Paypal company), but there are other companies like WorldPay, Stripe and Payza providing similar services. Apart from integration expenses, eventual monthly payment for using a certain service should be also taken into account.
Before taking the final decision to use the service, the passenger should find out about the estimated price of the ride, since the actual price may turn out to be slightly different, for example, because of traffic jam:
The price is also supposed to include tips, and taxi application developers should take this moment into account.
Information About the Car and The Driver
People prefer to know who and what they are waiting for. Application users will feel more comfortable and secure, if you provide them with some details about the car (the type, the colour etc) and the driver, while providing the latter with the details concerning their passengers (a name and a photo will be enough).
Passengers should be allowed to indicate the required number of seats and to provide any additional information that may be useful for the driver.
It’s not quite obvious but the system of rating introduced in the application makes an important contribution to the improvement of the quality of services provided by Uber. As soon as the ride is complete, the driver and the passenger evaluate each other through the same application:
- If the rating of the driver is below the acceptable level, the driver won’t be able to continue working with Uber anymore. That’s how they ensure a high quality of our services.
- If the passenger doesn’t respect the driver or the service use conditions, their rating falls as well, and there are less and less drivers eager to deal with them.
The integrated rating system helps to maintain a high level of mutual respect in the community.
Finally, to close the issue, how expensive is it to develop an Uber-clone application? It takes about 500 hours to develop one platform. The design takes about 200 hours. Thus, a minimum viable product (MVP) of an Uber-clone application adapted to iOS will cost approximately $27000. A version for Android will be less expensive: $22500. The development of the application takes 4 months.
A «well-polished» product ready for the launch is 3-4 times more expensive, than a MVP, and consequently the development takes 3-4 additional months.
Of course, all these numbers and estimations are approximate, and the final value of the development of an Uber-clone application will depend on the scale and particular features of each separately taken project.