Today it is common to find a taxi booking app downloaded on the devices of almost every smartphone user. After all, it is not a surprise that the market for on-demand Taxi Booking Apps and services is booming and presently it puts forth amazing options for many business verticals.
So, what does it exactly need to create a clone of one of the most prominent apps of recent times? Now knowing well the dominance enjoyed by Uber in the global market, it definitely won’t be easy to compete with the app, but it will be a good idea to launch a similar service at the national or regional levels.
Now to develop a taxi booking app just as Uber, you first need to have a good understanding regarding how it functions and define its basic building blocks.
However, it is really that simple to create such an app? Well, certainly not. A simple app is actually not that simple, as when you look closer, you will know that a lot goes into the making of such an app. And when it comes to mobile app development that you aim to compete with the biggies in the market, then obviously getting the app developed is not a piece of cake. In fact, it is a complex system, sales machine, a powerful targeted marketing with the strong back-end system. Here the mobile app is just a tiny part interacting with the customers.
Talking with experience, the simpler an app appears, the higher the chances that a lot of time was spent in its making so that it looks that way by increasing the back-end complexity thus compensating for the UX/UI simplicity.
Now, here we will explore client-side apps in greater detail, defining the basic features that these apps must have and ways to implement them.
Must-have features for Taxi-booking App:
Registration and Authentication
When on the way to build an app like Uber, it works best to offer social media and email/password signup and login functionality. Apart from enhancing customer retention, create a profile as it is crucial for services involving mobile payments. On the driver’s part, profile verification, approved by the service administration becomes vital.
This feature is quite useful as it automatically connects the passenger to the nearest available driver, thus making it easy for both the user and driver to take a ride. However, it is a complex algorithm and takes several factors into account, such as locations of passenger and nearby drivers (Uber shows up to 8 drivers), drivers’ ratings, status, car models, etc.
A few seconds time is given to the driver to accept the request (15 seconds are given by Uber) before it is passed to another driver.
And there are few of the taxi booking services where passengers can manually choose the driver. However, Uber doesn’t present this option as of now, but you can go ahead and offer something extraordinary)
The option for customization of the matching algorithm can also be added. For instance, a driver can easily set a destination filter and it should match with those riders only who are keen on going in that same direction.
Enable profile-editing feature
Drivers and passengers must have the ease to edit their own profiles: name, email, phone number, photo, etc. Info such as the driver’s license and about the vehicle (manufacturer and year of production, license plate, color, car class) and its photo should be there in the driver app. Create it in a way that the passenger, as well as the driver, can view each other’s profile. This way, it gets easy to recognize each other at the pickup location, hence reducing any sort of tension and provides a sense of security.
At the moment, many of ride-hailing apps send notifications to users regarding important events using three easy ways: Push Notifications, email, and SMS. Free utilities offered by platform vendors are used to implement push notifications: Firebase Cloud Messaging for Android, Apple Push Notification Service for iOS, or third-party cross-platform utilities like one signal.
Uber uses Twilio for implementation of SMS notifications, but you have various other similar service providers as well, like Nexmo, Plivo or Sinch. SendGrid is used by Uber to send transactional and marketing emails.
GPS tracking is the core of a location-based app like Uber. It allows you to recognize present locations of the drivers and passengers, draws paths between them, sets pickup and drop-off locations, and a lot more. It enables you to track the movement of cars as well as calculate the cost of the ride and the ETA (estimated time of arrival). Then on these data sets are forwarded to the server to process further and is broadcasted to other users in that given area.
Evaluate and display cost of a ride
It is advised to integrate a feature that allows both the passenger and the driver to know the estimated fare much in advance. The actual fare of the trip is mostly calculated on the server-side. It consists of the following parameters and factors, such as the distance between pickup and drop-off locations, fuel cost, probably offers or discount, traffic, peak hours, weather conditions, car class, etc.
The prominent ‘surge pricing’ method is used by Uber and the company increases its normal fares as the demand for rides are more than supply. However, this can be count as the controversial feature and the users do not like using it. Hence, it is advised to not integrate this feature, on the initial levels, as it certainly prevents the users from using your app.
In case of Uber, it has joined hands with Braintree to accept secure payment within the app. The payments are cashless, hence as the ride is over, payment is automatically withdrawn through the payment gateway.
Several other payment providers are Adyen, Worldpay and Stripe, are available that offers powerful APIs and can be easily integrated into mobile apps. It is easy to optimize these APIs for mobile, web and in-app purchases. Prominent credit cards like American Express, MasterCard, Visa and digital wallets like Walmart Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay and several others are supported, as well.
Uber earns by charging a 20% commission from the drivers on all rides which are booked via an app. It transfers the payments on the weekly basis to the driver’s account.
Meanwhile, as you build your app, never eliminate the option of traditional cash payments, as it is still the dominant payment mode in some nations, in rural areas as well as for a category of a population like teenagers and senior citizens.
Ratings & Reviews
Integrate this feature into your app as it allows the drivers and passengers to rate each other once the trip is completed. It helps in maintaining a good standard of service. Low-rated drivers eventually fail to use the service, where if a passenger has a low-ratings, then he will have a tough time finding a ride. Allow the passengers to offer feedback on the basis of their experience during the trip. This feedback is displayed in the driver’s profile so that it can be viewed by others.
Apart from the above-mentioned features, you can include other quality features in the taxi booking app as well such as regarding your taxi arrival, history of your payment transactions and bookings, share your ride, booking cancellation, etc.
Integrating these features will help in creating a great taxi booking app that helps in taking your taxi business to the next level and reach new heights in the taxi booking service industry and taxi service app industry.