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The availability of smartphones and high-speed Internet has irrevocably changed how people understand mobility. Ride-sharing applications have increased the share of private transportation, and the global rideshare business market is growing steadily. It is expected to reach $181.5 billion by 2026, up from $85.8 billion in 2021.
If you're looking to create your own rideshare app, there are a few things you'll need to do to make it successful. In this post, we'll lay out a roadmap for creating a rideshare app that can compete with the likes of Uber, Blablacar, and Lyft. With the proper planning and execution, your app will definitely thrive.
As experts in custom mobile app development services, Softermii team will thoroughly explain the steps required to create and successfully run your own rideshare app in 2023. Along the way, you’ll find out what technology changes are necessary to meet ever-evolving customer demands, ways to create custom features to stand out from the competition, and practical considerations, such as data protection and legal compliance.
What Makes Rideshare Apps Successful
Ride-sharing apps have become a popular way to get from Point A to Point B. If you want to create a ride sharing app and succeed with it, you need a clear understanding of business and technological acumen. Business aspects may include:
- Generating revenue from fares
- Making sure the onboarding process for drivers is efficient
- Providing customer service
- Ensuring safety protocols are in place
- Streamlining payment methods, and more
Additionally, developers must implement features that create demand for a rideshare app over its competitors by adding convenience and comfort for customers.
Creating a ridesharing app involves considering the most successful ideas and best practices while also adapting to key market trends. So let’s take a closer look at the world’s most popular car-sharing platforms to learn from the industry’s best representatives.
Uber has become one of the most successful rideshare services in the world, with its presence in more than 600 cities around the globe. Uber net income for the twelve months of 2022 was $8.8B, a 275% increase year-over-year. With its constant ride-sharing app development, Uber has launched UberPool, an innovative ridesharing service available for both Android and iOS users.
This service allows people to share a single ride, which is cheaper than a traditional taxi. With UberPool, riders can select their destination in the app and then match it with other riders travelling in the same direction. Drivers, in turn, can earn more money by picking up multiple passengers that are on the same route. The shared ride also helps save time since the driver doesn’t have to wait for additional trip requests.
Unlike taxis, UberPool allows drivers and passengers to save money by sharing a ride. It also provides more convenience as customers can book trips through the app on-demand instead of hailing a taxi or searching for available drivers. Furthermore, UberPool includes safety features, such as driver identity checks, trip ratings, and 24/7 customer support should any issues arise during a journey.
BlaBlaCar is a French carpooling company founded in 2006. Now, it operates across 22 countries worldwide. The platform connects drivers and passengers looking to travel together between cities and allows them to share journey costs. Currently, BlaBlaCar has over 100 million registered users worldwide, with over 25 million journeys per year through their platform.
The company has developed many functions, such as flexible payment solutions and rating systems, to enhance the user experience. Blablacar also allows riders to choose the drivers they want to join based on reviews.
Lyft is another well-known rideshare company that has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years. Lyft revenue for the twelve months of 2022 was $3.8B, a 38% increase year-over-year. Lyft has also expanded its operations across many countries, including Canada, Australia, Mexico, and the UK, for global reach. It also offers various services, such as shared rides, luxury cars, and standard vehicles for everyday use.
Rideshare App Must-Have Features
As the rideshare app market expands, users look for features making the chosen app stand out. Once you've created a business plan and understood what it takes to create a successful ridesharing app, it's time to dive into the development process. It’s essential to start with a clear definition of the app’s functions, which will vary depending on the business model. In addition to creating a great user experience, developers also need to ensure that their ride-sharing app meets safety standards and legal requirements.
Core Features for a Carsharing App
First, let’s look at the most critical features every rideshare application should provide.
Create a ride sharing app with a user-friendly interface that is easy to understand and navigate. The design should be modern, intuitive, and responsive, enabling users to access the service easily with just a few simple clicks. To make the experience more enjoyable, ensure that the app includes helpful visual elements, such as instructions, maps, images, and videos.
Automated Booking System
The booking system of a carsharing app should be fully automated. It will allow customers to book their rides quickly and easily. It should also provide some extra options, like the required vehicle type or the chosen pick-up and drop-off points, in advance. Furthermore, the system should provide notifications once the booking is complete. With its help, customers can pay for their rides safely through an in-app payment gateway.
Carsharing apps should offer real-time tracking capabilities so that customers can track their rides at any time throughout their journeys. This feature will ensure customer safety by providing updates on their ride's location and estimated arrival time. You can even integrate the tracking system with GPS devices installed in each car.
Ride History & Filtering Options
Carsharing apps should provide detailed information about customers’ past rides, including pick-up and drop-off locations, duration of each trip, cost of each ride, etc. Customers should also have the option to filter these results based on different criteria, such as date range, type of vehicle, etc. It will enable them to find specific details regarding past trips without searching through long lists manually.
Customer Comfort Features
Now, it’s time to talk about some extra functions that enhance customers’ convenience and help them efficiently manage a rideshare application.
Login and Profile
Through a login and profile panel, customers can create and easily access their accounts. Thus, they can begin using the rideshare app with minimal effort.
Notifications and Communication
Ensure that drivers and passengers have the most recent updates while booking a ride. For example, “My Rides” stores past trip data, so customers can repeat them without starting from scratch each time they need a ride. Also, consider adding a driver-passenger chat.
Ratings and reviews help customers (and drivers) make informed decisions on who they're riding with. Besides, this feature helps ensure customer satisfaction upon the journey’s completion.
Localization allows for multiple versions of languages on the app. It makes your solution accessible to countless users worldwide, no matter what language they speak.
This feature will let customers use voice commands while booking rides, tracking their progress, or checking their driver’s status. Voice activation will eliminate type-in commands, making it easier for customers to use the app.
By utilizing GPS, the app can show customers their location and the services available in this area. This feature helps customers save since they don’t have to search through an extensive list of available car share options. Furthermore, it also provides customer safety and convenience. People can quickly find a car nearby without looking for it manually.
Thanks to this feature, customers can share rides with other passengers heading in the same direction. It eliminates the need for multiple vehicles, reducing both traffic congestion and cost for those looking for shared transport options. It also helps increase community engagement by facilitating convenient carpooling opportunities among friends, family members, and coworkers.
This feature helps customers avoid long wait times at checkouts by automatically paying for their ride after arriving at their destination. The payment is processed through secure banking systems. Besides, the app safely stores customer information so that no third parties will ever access and compromise it.
Internal Features For App Management
Finally, here are rideshare app features that streamline the platform’s internal management.
To ensure passengers’ safety, managers can run background checks on all active drivers before allowing them access to the system. It also helps regularly verify driving licences and insurance documents. Furthermore, this dashboard also reduces fraud. Car owners must prove that they have valid credentials before being able to pick up any rides from potential clients.
Through data analysis tools integrated into the admin panel, managers can track customer usage trends, analyze trip duration times, and monitor routes taken by vehicle owners during each ride. You can use this data for more efficient ride scheduling and improving overall operations efficiency within the carsharing program.
Things to Consider about Rideshare App Development
When it comes to rideshare app development, you will have to cover several essential aspects. Let’s take a closer look at those basics.
The first thing to consider is your application's platform type: native or cross-platform. In other words, do you want to build your app natively or use an alternative option, such as React Native? It is crucial to make your choice before the development process begins. Note that native apps are more cost-effective and produce better performance.
Integrations and APIs
Next, you should decide how many third-party integrations you need. Some common examples include Google Maps for location tracking, Twilio for push notifications and SMSs, Braintree for payment integration, Amazon Web Services for cloud server storage, and more. Also, consider the back-end technologies, such as Node.js and PHP Geolocation, and databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB.
Note that rideshare app development for native applications requires native APIs, such as the iOS CoreLocation framework or MapKit. With their help, you will access location details and the GPS coordinates of cars on route. And finally, the native development environment should include a push notification technology, such as Apple Push Notification Service (for iOS) or Google Cloud Messaging (for Android). These services deliver push notifications and text messages via services like Twilio.
Marketing and PR
Once the solution is ready, and all features are in place, it's time to promote your rideshare app. Creating a video or launching an event can help generate interest in the app. Meanwhile, utilizing social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook can spread the word about your new business venture. In addition, you can ask bloggers and influencers to provide reviews about your app.
Also, remember to include PR campaigns that will gain valuable exposure for your ridesharing app. With a proper combination of marketing tactics, you'll soon have more customers ready to ride.
Cost Estimation to Make a Rideshare App & Tips to Cut Them
When it comes to estimating the cost of designing and developing a rideshare app, you should consider several critical factors. These include:
- Your project’s size
- The complexity of functionality and design elements required
- Project’s deadline
- Development team type (in-house team or outsourcing)
- Support and maintenance
The cost of developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for a carsharing app varies depending on these factors. But it’s possible to get an approximate estimate by calculating the hours required for the development. Then, you can multiply this number by $50 - $75 per hour for outsourcing partners from Eastern Europe and $100 - $150 per hour for US-based specialists.
If you want to build a ready-to-market app from scratch, expect to pay more than for an MVP. That is due to extra features like advanced mapping systems, payment integration, etc., requiring more significant time and resource investments. Generally, the cost could range between $50K and $100K or more, depending on the factors mentioned above. Feel free to contact the Softermii team for more specific estimations.
How to reduce the cost of rideshare app development
Fortunately, there are some ways to reduce expenses while launching a rideshare app.
- Choose Open Source Software. Use open-source software whenever possible. It eliminates licensing fees associated with proprietary software products. Also, look at third-party APIs that offer appropriate services without writing code from scratch. This approach cuts back on expenses and development time significantly.
- Use Cloud Solutions: Cloud solutions, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), provide flexibility in terms of storage capacity and processing power. This approach is ideal for young businesses and startups. Such solutions are cost-effective and easy to scale up or down according to your business needs changing over time.
- Focus On Core Features First: When initializing development on your rideshare app, start with core functions before investing time and money into additional ones like analytics or user engagement tools. This way, you can keep costs down while achieving the desired outcomes.
- Hire Freelancers And Consultants: Consider hiring freelancers and consultants with experience in mobile app development. They usually charge lower rates compared to full-time developers. Besides, freelancers offer invaluable guidance during the early stages when budgets are tight.
Pitfalls of Building a Ride Sharing App
Creating a ride-sharing app may sound like a great idea to many aspiring entrepreneurs or anyone who wants to provide alternative transportation solutions. But while a rideshare mobile app can be highly beneficial to users, there are a few pitfalls to consider if you want to build a successful ride-sharing app. Awareness of the potential challenges of creating a ride-sharing application is key to developing a great mobile app experience.
Cost is an obvious concern when entering any venture. But to build a rideshare app, you have to invest in platform development and in PR to attract potential clients. Estimating the cost of designing and creating a rideshare app will help you determine how much you should invest in your future project.
Time is also essential. It takes a while to develop your MVP, enter the market, and gain recognition for your ridesharing product. Once you've conquered those challenges, consider monetization and commission models. This way, you will ensure the sustainability and profitability of your venture in the long run.
Now that you know what it takes to create a successful rideshare app in 2023, why not get started today? With careful planning and development of all the necessary components, rideshare mobile app development can be up and running in no time. Remember that a top ride sharing app must be able to provide customers with convenience, comfort, and accessibility. The functions that make up the software’s core should be intuitive and user-friendly. And finally, don't forget to consider marketing strategies for your app so that your potential customers can recognize your product.
With the right combination of features, technology, integration, and marketing tactics, you're sure to impact the ridesharing industry soon.
If you plan to develop a rideshare app, consider working with the Softermii development team. We will ensure that your app is successfully launched and meets all the requirements. Drop us a line if you have any questions or would like to discuss your project in more detail.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Ridesharing App in 2023?
The cost to build a ridesharing app in 2023 depends on several factors, such as the complexity of the features, the company‘s size, and development prices. Rideshare mobile app development will typically range from $50,000 to $150,000 or more.
How Long Would It Take on Average to Create a Rideshare App?
On average, it can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to develop a quality rideshare app. The timeline will depend on the complexity of the functions you need for your app and the integrations with other systems. It is critical to remember that developing an app is not a one-time process. You may need some additional time for testing and bug fixes.
How to Make a Rideshare App Successful?
Building a rideshare app involves understanding user experience (UX) design principles and marketing strategies. You should strive to create an intuitive interface with easy-to-use features that make it easy for customers to find their way around the app.
Additionally, providing excellent customer service support and integrating various payment methods into the application are essential success components in the rideshare space. Finally, effective marketing campaigns can help you spread awareness about your product and reach your target users.
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