Uber is one of the leading transportation network companies that connects passengers with drivers at the touch of a button. It is an on-demand taxi service app that allows users to find nearby rides and allows drivers to get paid for the ride. In 2019, Uber generated gross bookings of 18.13 billion U.S. dollars worldwide. Uber’s widespread popularity and success might act as a motivating factor for other entrepreneurs to develop a similar app.
If you have decided to make an app like Uber, you need to have thorough information about the features and functionality of the app. This information will help you determine the cost of the app you want to develop. The overall cost to build an app like Uber may range anywhere between $67,000 and $150,000.
Let’s break down Uber’s development cost based on features and functionality.
Cost Breakdown of Uber’s Key Features
Many factors determine the cost of app development. The primary features and functionality of Uber, contributing to its development cost can be divided into two categories.
Uber for Customers
- Geolocation & Routing
- Payment Methods
- Registration & Profile
- Communication & Notifications
- Ride Cost Estimation
- Schedule a Ride in Advance
- Book a Ride for Other People
- Split a Fare
- UI/UX Design
Uber for Drivers
- Driver Report
- Advanced Route Building
- Driver Destinations
- Free Cancellation Within 2 Minutes
- Heat Maps
Uber for Customers | Core Features & Functionality
Geolocation & Routing
For any transportation app, geolocation is the most crucial feature to have. All such apps use GPS technology to detect the user’s location. Similarly, Uber uses GPS technology to identify the passenger’s and driver’s location. Uber’s slogan ‘Get a ride at the tap of a button’ makes it sound very simple to book a ride, but it’s an intricate process that involves a routing server, in addition to GPS. The routing server comes into play when the passenger books a ride and the driver starts tracking their location and vice versa. It allows the passenger as well as the driver to track the ride.
How it works:
The steps involved in the whole process of booking a ride and completing a trip, such as pinning the location, tracking the ride, and the driver following the directions leading them to the passenger’s location, are all carried out using Google Maps. Hence, the app needs to have a Maps SDK (Android) or CoreLocation Framework (iOS).
Time: It takes about 46 hours to develop this feature, which includes map integration, pick-up point selection, and detection of users’ location.
Cost: It costs about $1,840 to $3,680 to implement this feature.
For the convenience of its users, Uber offers different payment options. You can choose your preferred payment methods, such as the option to pay via credit cards, Uber credit or a PayPal account. Once your trip is completed, you will be charged using your selected payment method.
How it works:
Uber features a fare calculator that provides users with estimations regarding the total fare of the trip. These estimated fare rates depend on the service you have booked (UberX, BLACK, SUV) and the city you live in. Uber’s fare calculator takes into account the following factors:
- Base fare
- Cost per minute
- Cost per mile
- Safe rides fee
Implementing a cashless payment system is not an easy task as it involves dealing with confidential information like credit card numbers. This feature requires you to ensure users’ data security. Apps that use cashless payment methods need to fulfill PCI requirements before integrating a cashless payment system in their app.
Time: It takes about 85 hours to implement this feature.
Cost: It costs about $3,400 to $6,800 to integrate this feature into the app, depending on the developer’s hourly rate.
Registration & Profile
Almost all apps have a ‘register your account’ feature. Users need to register their profiles before they can start using the app. Uber offers a registration feature that allows users to sign up via Google, Facebook, or email. Providing a phone number is mandatory as uber accommodates mobile payments.
Uber allows drivers to create their profiles using their names, pictures, and car license number. It also has a rating feature displayed along with the driver’s profile to let the passenger/user see other people’s feedback on the driver. This allows users to avoid drivers with low ratings and improves user experience. This also takes away the responsibility from the app and places it on the driver in case of bad customer service.
Time: It takes about 62 hours to develop a fully functioning registration and profile feature.
Cost: Developing registration and profile features for an app like Uber costs about $2,840 to $4,960.
Communication & Notifications
An app like Uber requires a user to coordinate with the driver, either to instruct him about the location or to ask him about the estimated time of arrival. Uber offers its users an in-app messaging and calling feature to help users call or text the driver without leaving the app.
Uber uses push notifications to inform users about important events, such as ‘Your Uber is on the way’ or ‘Your Uber has arrived’.
How it works:
iOS apps use Apple Push Notification Service, while Android apps use Firebase Cloud Messaging to integrate push notifications. Uber works with Twilio, a telecommunication service provider, to send SMS notifications.
Time: It will take around 70 hours to integrate SMS and implement push notifications in an app like Uber.
Cost: It will cost around $2,800 to $3,200 to build communication and notification features in an Uber-like app.
Ride Fare Estimation
It is essential for an app like Uber to have a ride fare estimation system. It will provide users with an approximate cost of the trip before they choose to book the ride.
How it works:
Uber uses an algorithm to estimate the total trip cost based on the pick-up and drop-off location of the user and the type of car that they choose.
Time: It takes about 40 hours to develop the ride cost estimation feature.
Cost: It costs around $1,600 to $3,200 to develop this ride cost estimation feature.
Schedule a Ride in Advance
Uber introduced an advanced feature that allows users to book a ride in advance. The timeframe of this feature ranges from 15 minutes to 30 days.
Time: It takes around 110 hours to develop this feature.
Cost: It costs about $4,400 to $8,800 to develop a ‘schedule a ride in advance’ feature like Uber.
Book a Ride for Other People
Another advanced feature that Uber offers is, ‘book a ride for other people.’ It allows users to book a ride for friends, family, or relatives using their own account.
As soon as the user books a ride for a friend, the friend gets the details of the ride through SMS.
Time: It takes about 240 hours to develop a feature similar to Uber’s ‘book a ride for other people’ feature.
Cost: It costs around $9,600 to $19,200 to develop this feature.
Split a Fare
Uber introduced a ‘split a fare’ feature that allows users to split the cost of the ride with other users who are commuting with them in the same car.
Time: It will take about 116 hours to develop this feature.
Cost: The development of this feature will cost approximately $4,640 to $9,280.
UI/UX design of the app plays a significant role in improving user experience. The design of Uber is user-friendly, simple, and easy to navigate.
Time: UI/UX of an app like Uber takes about 240 hours for both platforms (iOS and Android).
Cost: The UI/UX of an Uber-like app costs around $9,600 to $19,200.
Uber for Drivers | Core Features & Functionality
Driver report is a feature designed to ensure the safety of both the driver and the passenger. It is a brief report about the driver’s driving style detailing if the driver has been careless or has violated any rules. This report is updated weekly or monthly. Driver report helps Uber ban drivers who violate the rules.
Time: It will take about 17 hours to develop a feature like Uber’s Driver Report.
Cost: It can cost around $680 to $1,360 to develop this feature.
Advanced Route Building
Uber uses advanced route building functionality that allows drivers to drive smoothly without facing any issues with navigation. This, in turn, improves passenger’s experience and increases user retention.
Time: It takes about 16 hours to develop a feature like Uber’s ‘advanced route building’ feature.
Cost: It costs around $640 to $1,280 to develop an advanced route building feature.
Uber’s driver destination feature allows the driver to pick a location and get bookings only from people who need a ride to that location. This way, it becomes easier for drivers to take care of their personal affairs while working. It increases user satisfaction and enhances users’ experience with the app.
Time: It takes about 42 hours to develop this feature
Cost: It can cost around $1,680 to $3,360 to implement this feature.
Free Cancellation Within 2 Minutes
Uber allows free cancellation within 2 minutes of booking the ride. If you cancel the ride after 2 minutes of booking it, Uber charges you the base fare rate to compensate for the loss of time and effort of the driver.
Time: The ride cancellation feature will take about 20 hours to develop.
Cost: It will cost around $800 to $1,600 to implement this feature.
Uber’s ‘heat maps’ feature allows the drivers to view which part of the city has the highest demand for service so that the drivers can drive there to get more bookings. This would help drivers earn more profit, simultaneously generating more revenue for the company.
It is quite difficult to estimate the time and cost of developing this feature as it depends on multiple factors.
Find out more about heatmaps here.
Every app needs to have an admin panel. The admin panel is an interface that tracks the daily operations of an app, such as order processing, delivery tracking, and so on.
Time: It takes about 280 hours or more to develop an admin panel for an app.
Cost: It costs around $11,200 to $22,400 to build an app’s admin panel.
Based on the estimated cost of the features mentioned above, an app like Uber will cost somewhere between $67,000 and $150,000. However, every app is unique, and the cost range may vary according to the complexity of the app’s features and the developer’s hourly rate. If you want to get an exact cost estimate for your app, discuss your idea with our consultants and get a free quote today.
P.S. Developer’s hourly rate was assumed to be anywhere between $40 to $80 to estimate the cost of all the features mentioned in the article.