The consumer’s choice for road commuting is shifting from purchasing a vehicle as a product to consuming mobility as a service, contributing to the popularity of ride-sharing and ride-hailing apps like Uber, Lyft, and DiDi.

The demand for shared mobility i.e. ride-sharing and hailing services is driven by several factors, including the lack of overhead costs associated with vehicle ownership and maintenance, reduced emissions, more accessibility, and less hassle when parking. Shared mobility in a way keeps the consumer stress free fulfilling their temporal requirement by providing essential transportation services.

mobility services in 5 years

Source: Erricson

Shared mobility simplified human life to a great extent. However, as COVID-19 affected many businesses from restaurants to fashion to transportation, ride-hailing companies such as Uber weren’t spared. During the period, the demand for ride-hailing services witnesses a substantial drop, raising several questions on its future relevancy.

But, as they say, that nothing lasts forever.

The ride-hailing business is also being revitalized by employing measures such as providing barriers between drivers and passengers, sanitizing vehicles, and using digital thermometers to check passengers’ body temperatures to prevent virus infection.

In fact, Statista estimates that the global ride-sharing market will grow by over 50% between 2020 and 2021, bringing its market value up to around 117 USD by 2021. Besides this, Statista also rated Uber as one of the most notable players in this industry.

Uber has been consistently growing in popularity since it was launched in 2013. It is now accessible in 80+ countries, covering over 785 metropolitan areas, and connecting 3.5 million drivers with 93 million users through its Android and iOS app. Furthermore, according to Backlinko, Uber generated a total of $26.61 billion in gross bookings from its ridesharing business in 2020.

Hence, developing an app like Uber is definitely a good idea.

If you are here, chances are you are also planning on building an app for your ride-sharing or hailing business, and wondering what the costs will be. The article will run you through some of the most essential features and modules that should be included in the app like Uber as well as the cost associated with it.

Cost Breakdown of the Development Process of an App like Uber

To estimate the cost of developing an app similar to Uber, the foremost step is to list down the desired features of the application and then calculate the estimated time required to develop each feature/ module.

Uber operates its ride-hailing process through 3 apps- Uber Passenger App, Uber Driver App, and Admin Panel App. Let’s dive in through the features of each application and calculate the effort and cost associated with it.

Role of Each App in the Ride-Booking Process

  1. 1. Ride Request

    The customer places a request for a ride via the Uber passenger app which is received by the drivers in the nearby locations. The app automatically detects the current location and asks the customer to enter the destination. Along with this, the customer also has the facility to choose the vehicle from the available options.

  2. 2. Matching

    Upon receiving the request from the customers, the driver needs to respond to it through his Uber Driver app. The driver can accept or reject the ride as per his choice. Whatever action the driver takes is tracked by the admin panel.

  3. 3. Ride

    When the driver reaches the location and commences the ride, the customer can track the ride if he desires.

  4. 4. Payment

    The customers can make the payment both online and offline through their passenger app.

  5. 5. Customer Reviews and Ratings

    Once the ride is completed the customer can provide their reviews about their experience during the ride.

Effort and Cost Estimation of Each App

  • Uber Passenger App

    This app is used by passengers to book their rides. Below are some of the key features of the Uber Passenger App, along with the effort required to create them:

    • Register and login- 16 Days
    • Geolocation and routing-  15 Days
    • Payment integration- 13 Days
    • Push notifications- 4 Days
    • Feedback- 5 Days
    • Ride cost calculator- 4 Days
    • Call or message the driver- 3 Days
    • Top-notch UI and UX design- 15 Days

    Based on the above efforts estimated breakdown, the total effort required to develop the Uber Passenger App is approximately 75 Days.

  • Effort and Cost Estimation of Uber Driver App

    This App is used by Uber drivers to process ride requests made by the customers. Check out the core features of the Uber Driver App as well as the effort required to create them-

    • Active/Inactive status- 3 Days
    • Profile editing- 4 Days
    • Activity alert- 5 Days
    • Cost and time Estimation- 4 Days
    • Payment integration- 15 Days
    • Navigation and Advanced route optimization- 16 Days
    • Driver reports about rides and earnings- 5 Days
    • Calling and in-app messaging- 3 Days

    The Uber Driver App will take approximately 55 days to develop as per the estimation.

  • Effort and Cost Estimation of Admin Panel App

    Admin panel is usually a web app that keeps a record of every vehicle, driver, and customer. Here are the core features of the Admin Panel app worth considering-

    • Driver Management- 6 Days
    • Vehicle Management- 6 Days
    • User Management- 6 Days
    • Issue Management- 4 Days
    • Payment Management- 12 Days
    • Feedback Management- 5 Days
    • Promotion and discount management- 6 Days

    Taking into account the above-estimated breakdown, the development time is approximately 45 days.

Cost Sum up of the Complete App

The app development process goes through a set of phases including requirement analysis, designing, coding, and testing. Hence to calculate the accurate effort and cost, considering them is extremely important. Here is the effort breakdown of the phases of the entire app development process-

  • Requirement Analysis & Management – 8 Days
  • Architecture and Design – 15 Days
  • Modules Development – 175 Days( Total efforts of Passenger, Driver, or Admin Apps)
  • Unit Testing – 8 Days
  • Functional Testing – 18 Days
  • Performance Testing – 6 Days
  • Compatibility Testing – 10 Days

The total development time of the Uber-like IOS and Android apps is based on the effort estimation of all the 3 apps- Passenger, Driver, and Admin Panel, which approximates 240 days, or 1,920 hours. Typically, a US-based mobile app development company charges around 100 USD/hr for the app development process. So, if you need 1,920 Hrs. to build the app, the entire app development will cost you 192K USD.

Along with the development process, factors that play a prominent role in the app’s success are app marketing and promotions as well as acceptance on the app store. App promotion brings your app to the user’s attention. The applications that are promoted well are more likely to be downloaded. Hence, keep a close eye on the App store guidelines to prevent app store rejection.

The best approach here is to hire digital marketing experts who can formulate effective strategies to promote and market your app in the best light. According to Business of Apps, the average cost of app marketing, including the pre-launch and post-launch processes ranges to 10K USD/per application, which is way too less than the cost of not promoting your application.

Also, once your app is successful, you can already monetize it. Hence, taking chance with marketing and promotion because of the charges associated with it is not a good idea. Here is the complete guideline to choose the best model that can help you with the app monetization process-

If you can offshore part of the development and marketing processes, there is a good chance of cost reductions of 30 to 40%. A fixed and ongoing hosting fee will apply, which will be less in the initial months and increase as the app’s user base grows.

Key Takeaways

Now that you have an understanding of how the ride-hailing app works as well as the costs associated with it, maybe you have become more passionate about creating a similar app to Uber. However, it is important to take a moment to consider a very important fact before moving forward with app development; if users already have a choice in terms of ride-hailing apps on the market, why would they be interested in a second one?

Would you yourself be willing to do so?

No, right. Not unless it gives you a compelling reason to install the app.

The same is the case with the users. If you want your app to stand out in the market, try to find the lacking factor of the alternative apps available that you can include in your app to entice the users. Find out the pain area of the users that they face while using these apps. Address those pain points with your brand new application.

For assistance with the process, reach out to our experts. Our mobile app development team will not only help you bring out innovative ideas for your app but also assist you to implement them. Along with this, we can also help you with associated mobile app services including app marketing and monetization strategies, and make your application a huge success.

Nirav Oza
Nirav Oza
Nirav is passionate about helping clients in their growth and transformation towards digitization by analyzing their business issues. He believes in devising continuous improvements to increase efficiency, product qualification and decrease aggregate expenses with optimum utilization of technology. He has 17+ years of experience with successful track record in creating business value through innovative yet simplified use of technology in varied industries.