The ride-sharing industry has come a long way from Uber's former CEO Travis Kalanick's curiosity, "What if you could request a ride from your phone within a matter of minutes?" to having exemplary giants like Uber, LYFT, OLA, etc. 

Today, the ride-sharing market has gained tremendous growth, such that according to a report by Marketsandmarkets, the global ride-sharing market is expected to be $185.1 billion by 2026. Unlike the time when Travis Kalanick launched Uber, today, the competition is far more complex, with many giants who have a well-established presence around the globe. 

If you're looking at creating an app for ridesharing, what worked for Uber and Lyft years back may not work for you. Creating an app for ridesharing

With the evolving dynamics of creating an app for ridesharing, building an app like Uber or Lyft may be all, which is why to help you with how to create a ride-sharing app, here is a comprehensive guide to creating a ride-sharing app. 

Understanding the ride-sharing app concept

Unlike traditional taxi services, where the passengers wait until a cab appears and they hail it or give the taxi company a call and wait until the car arrives, with the ride-sharing app, the passengers can find a cab anywhere and at any time from the app. Based on the passenger's location, the app would match the closed cars registered with the ride-sharing company available with them. 

As the car arrives, the passengers will be notified by the app. They can verify the car that has arrived in the app with the information of the car available and then reject or accept the ride. 

The difference also lies in its payment methods, variety of prices, app features, and more. 

Let us dive deep into understanding various crucial aspects of making a ride-sharing application.

Key features of a successful ride-sharing app

Whether you opt to develop a ride-sharing app separate for passengers and drivers or an all-in-one app, some of the key features are a must-have for either of these considerations.

Let us explore some of the must-have features of ride-sharing apps when you are figuring out how to create a ride-sharing app. 

1. User registration and account management

The first and most basic requirement when building a ride-sharing app is a registration page which would enable the user to register themselves in the app by entering the simple yet necessary information in the app to keep the registration process simple. 

For passengers:

The best way to make the registration process easier for the passenger is by offering the feasibility to either choose their existing Google, Facebook, or Apple account or their email id/phone number for sign-up. 

Further, the more crucial details like their first name, last name, and payment method can be completed later when completing their profile after registering themselves.  

For Drivers:

Unlike the passenger with easy registration to the app, the drivers are required to have approval from the rise share company, for which you can ask for driver's information like their tax verification number, name, contact information, and anything that the rideshare company may find crucial for approving the driver to work with the company. 

Note: The crucial information required may be different depending on your country.

Further, the riders would require information when setting up their personal profile, like photos, work schedules, etc. 

2. Geolocation and map integration

Eliminate the need to enter the pick-up locations manually by adding a geolocation feature to the app. However, they would have to add the drop location manually. Further, the map integration and geolocation would help you for:

  • Precise ride matching
  • Automating route map creation
  • Finding the shortest route possible
  • Finding the distance for fare calculation
  • Real-time tracking
  • Fetching the driver's exact location
  • Navigation for drivers
  • Calculating the ETA (Estimated time of arrival)

3. Ride request and matching algorithm

After the passengers have added their pick-up and drop location, the next step of creating a ride-sharing app would be enabling the passenger to request the ride. 

Things do not end with just the geolocation integration; consider having a robust migration algorithm that matches the passenger with the rides available at the shortest distance from his current location.  

Ensure that the app lists the car types and their corresponding rates calculated based on the route's distance and the car type's fare. This would let the passenger know rates and car types, making the ride-requesting process easier. 

4. In-app communication between riders and drivers

After selecting the ride from the nearest rides available, the next feature that would enable the driver or riders to communicate until the driver arrives are various options of in-app communication like chat and audio calls either to discuss the itinerary specifics or for the drivers to inform their arrival. 

5. Fare estimation and payment processing

Depending on the following factors, the fare of the passenger's ride is estimated:

  • Routes
  • Types of vehicles
  • Traffic conditions

Ensure that the fare estimation is done before the passenger requests the ride. This way, the passenger would be clear about the fare before sharing the ride. 

To offer passengers ease of payment, most ride-sharing apps integrate with in-app third-party gateways for secure and quicker payment processing like PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, etc.  

6. Driver and rider rating and feedback system

For the ride-sharing company to know if the driver is doing his/her job properly or not through the passenger's feedback/reviews and ratings. The passenger reviews also give insights into drivers' driving skills and behavior. 

This is true for passengers too, who should be banned from using their services. The driver's reviews and ratings would play a crucial role in this. 

Identifying the target audience

The research lays a foundation for making a successful mobile app regardless of the niche or industry. One of the key aspects of determining a mobile app's success is by identifying the target audience. When researching how to create a ride-sharing app, here is the target audience that you should seek. The apps have two pivotal users, which would make this app's target audience – the passenger/rider and the driver.

1. Riders seeking convenient transportation options

The primary reason this idea came into reality was the requirement for convenient transportation options by the riders commuting regularly using taxis. 

2. Drivers looking for flexible income opportunities

To provide convenient transportation, the rides would also require drivers would are on the hunt for hustles that offer them a reliable income source. 

Planning and designing the ride-sharing app

Once you have a brief understanding of the ride-sharing app concept, the next step would be planning and designing the application, which would help you conceptualize the actual products before you move to figure out how to develop the ridesharing app. The following steps will help you to plan and design your ride-sharing app.

Market research and competitor analysis

The aim is to compete in a well-established ride-sharing market, which would take immense market research to analyze and understand competitors' ride-sharing apps. 

To conduct lucrative market research, here is what you can do:

1. Studying industry trends and successful ride-sharing apps

The worst nightmare is to develop a ride-sharing app that does not match the modern user experience requirements and perspective. The best way to match the pace of riders' changing requirements is by studying the industry trends and implementing them in your app. 

The best way to apply the industry trends in your app successfully is by studying the existing successful ride-sharing apps to find to understand the gaps. These gaps are the opportunities for unique features that would help you differentiate your apps from competitors. 

2. Identifying unique selling points (USPs) and niche markets

When conducting market research, the users also require figuring out the Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Studying competitors' value prepositions would help you realize you are and provide you with lucrative insights that you can utilize to make informed decisions. 

To stay on top of the market, you must create a niche or a unique feature that would help your target audience solve their problem to a greater extent.

Defining app requirements and functionalities

The next step of creating a ride-sharing app after you have a product created in mind is to give that product a potential design to know how that product would function and what user interface you want to offer your app users. It would also provide you an insight into the requirement of customization in a feature or functionality depending on your USP.

1. User stories and feature prioritization

To make the development process more fruitful, it is inevitable to write the user story (highly detailed software requirements specifications) to get a clear perspective of what the product feature should look like for an end-user, what an end-user what to do with that feature, and why.  

By defining a defined user journey aligned with targeted user personas, you can prioritize the features that would help you match the customers' needs and boost user retention.

2. Design mockups and wireframes

Once you have the user story ready for your ride-sharing app, the next in line with how to create a ride-sharing app is to have your UI/UX designers create the design mockups and wireframes. 

Ensure to employ modern best practices of UI/UX design while creating a user-friendly ride-sharing app design and keeping in mind various factors like ease of navigation, app speed, and more for increased user engagement. 

To realize the fruitfulness of the designs, you can also test them with early users and focus groups.

Selecting the right technology stack

Front-end and back-end technologies/tools, programming languages, databases, frameworks, APIs, and more make the technology stack of any app. 

The decision of the tech stack is so critical in the entire process that it holds the capability to make or break the entire project. From scalability to time-to-market security, and customization feasibility, many factors are affected by the choice of tech stack. 

Here is what an ideal tech stack when considering ride sharing app development looks like:

1. Front-end and back-end technologies

The next prominent decision you must make before starting the ride sharing app development is to choose the front-end and back-end technologies. 

Here are some tech stack considerations:

  • Front end: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Back-end: Node.js, PHP, or Java
  • Geolocation: Google Maps Android API, Google Maps, CoreLocation framework, MapKit
  • Payment integration: Braintree, Stripe, PayPal, etc

2. Database and hosting solutions

  • Database: MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, etc
  • Cloud server: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure,  Google App Engine

When it comes to data storage and hosting your ride-sharing app, here are some of the database and cloud server options to consider:

Developing the ride-sharing app

It's time for the most awaited step - ride sharing app development! 

Assembling the development team

Regarding mobile app development, either you can consider hiring an in-house or outsource the ride sharing app development.

1. In-house vs. outsourced development

When hiring an in-house team, you must go through a tedious process of finding skilled project managers, mobile app developers, designers, and testers, interviewing them, and hiring them. You must provide dedicated hardware and software resources required by this team which would add to the cost of the mobile app development budget. The company must keep a bird's eye view of whether the team is performing at its optimal level or not. 

When outsourcing the ride sharing app development, you are relieved from the duty of bringing together an internal team. Either you can hire dedicated resources (designer, developer, or QA tester) required for the project as per the requirement or outsource the project at a fixed rate to any of the top mobile app development companies. These companies would take care of your entire ride-sharing app development project while you can look out for the core business functions.

2. Key roles and responsibilities

Once you have an internal team or hire dedicated resources from any top mobile app development companies, the next task is to assign the roles and responsibilities for better execution of the development process and eliminate confusion among the team. 

When developing a ride sharing app, you can either opt for the development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or full-fledged product development. 

Implementing the development process

The next intrinsic part of every software development process is its implementation. It involved defining a holistic workflow or adopting mythologies that benefit the software development lifecycle.

To implement a robust development process, here are what any development company does:

1. Agile development methodology

It is an iterative software development methodology that involves breaking the entire development project into smaller phases and collaborating for continuous improvement. Adopting this methodology allows you to avail benefits like escalated project delivery, increased team productivity, and better management of changing priorities. 

2. Development milestones and timelines

All these phases are then segregated and combined to form app development milestones which the development team must achieve over each dedicated timeline. This would give the team a clear roadmap of the milestones and how much time they take to achieve. 

Quality assurance and testing

Once you have either the MVP or a ride-sharing application ready, the next step is to assess the quality of the various aspects of the app, from code to features, functionalities, user engagement, or more, before launching. By doing so, you can fix all the bugs before an actual user uses the app after publishing it in the Apple App Store or Play Store. 

There are various types of testing to analyze the quality of the app. Here are some ways to conduct app testing: 

1. Functional testing and user acceptance testing

Each feature and functionality must work properly for an app to give an unmatched experience to the user. There is functional testing to verify if these functions or features have any glitches. However, to ensure that your application handles the real task for which, after the functional testing is done, the app is tested by end-user/ clients to verify if the app serves the purpose successfully for which it is built.

2. Security and performance testing

For apps like the ride-sharing app, which involves user data, the quality assurance professional must ensure that it prevents malicious attacks from protecting this data from intruders. This can be done by uncovering the app's vulnerabilities, threats, and risks with security testing. 

The QA testers also must test the app for performance as it is crucial to verify that the app would handle the workload successfully by keeping the performance (speed and stability) intact even during traffic spikes. This would also eliminate any aspect affecting your app's performance upon upscaling it. 

Launching and marketing the ride-sharing app

Now that you have resolved all the bugs, the app is ready to be published in the App Store and Play Store. Here is how these steps are done to ensure a smooth launch of the ride-sharing app.  

Pre-launch activities

When figuring out how to create a ride-sharing app, the launch's success depends solely on your pre-launch activities. Let's dive into some of the critical pre-launch activities. 

1. Beta testing and gathering user feedback

Unlike the user acceptance testing in this phase of the software development lifecycle – best testing, the app is made available to a selected group of people willing to test your ride-sharing app to obtain real-life customer reviews/feedback from the developer for further improvement. 

2. Finalizing the app for public release

After successfully conducting beta testing and eliminating any bugs or aspects that impact the app's functioning or performance, it is time to release the app for extended public use.

Marketing and promotion strategies

After you have known how to create a ride-sharing app, further for the app to gain momentum amongst the target users, you also need to have marketing and promotional strategies in place to make the target user aware of your product. Here are some marketing and promotion facets to consider for crafting your strategy.  

1. App Store Optimization (ASO) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The goal for any app is to get millions of downloads, and this can be done with various strategic improvements in app visibility on various online platforms. One such way is ASO, by which the digital marketers optimize the app's user appeal (Icon, title, description, preview, etc.) and visibility to gain a higher app rank on the app store's search results for increasing the app conversion rate.

Further, various SEO strategies like app indexing, keyword research, backlink creation, and rating/reviews will enable your app to rank higher or on the first page of the search engine result page. 

2. Social media and email marketing

You can also leverage social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to create brand awareness and promote your app. You can use strategies like building a strong community, creative social media posts, promoting offers, conducting giveaways, collaborating with influencers, and even paid ads. 

Also, ensure that you make fruitful use of your email subscriber/prospect list by sending them various emails like promos, special offers, product/feature releases, exclusive content, etc. 

3. Strategic partnerships and industry events

One of the best ways to expand your audience is by having a strategic partnership like the one between Uber and Spotify. This way, with cobranding, both brands can grow with a substantial increase in ROI with reduced internal costs. 

Not just hosting by attending the event will enable your ride-sharing company to increase brand awareness and app downloads, apart from becoming or making people away of the industry trends while showcasing your product to your target prospects. 

Post-launch app maintenance and growth

Things do not end here by just knowing how to create and promote a ride-sharing app. After the launch of the app, it needs to be maintained to ensure the app is up to date, aligned with changing business goals, and secure from intruders. 

Here are some post-launch activities you must consider conducting to ensure the proper functioning of the app. 

Continuous improvement and feature updates

Designing, developing, and deploying the final version of the ride-sharing app does not mean that you work it over yet. To stay ahead of the curve and relevant to your target for the longest time, continuously improving the app becomes inevitable. 

Here is how you can update your app as a part of the app's continuous improvement process post-launch:

1. Analyzing user feedback and usage data

The most useful data for improving the ride-sharing app is the feedback and reviews of the passengers who have traveled using your app. You can analyze this user-generated content and use this data to improve your app and ride-sharing services. 

2. Implementing new features and enhancements

This feedback and further market research would provide hints for any new feature your competitors' apps may be lacking and would be fruitful for users' use and your business goal. 

You can improve your app by implementing these features and further improving the app by enhancing the previous features and functionalities by implementing industry trends and the latest coding practices. This way, your app would have enhanced user engagement, smooth function of features/functionalities, and relevancy over the longest time.

Driver and rider engagement and support

To ensure that you have continuous support from your two major user personas – drivers and riders, driving user engagement and support by implementing user-centered features/functionalities and perks becomes essential. 

Here are a few examples of user-centered activities you must consider performing after the launch of your ride-sharing app.  

1. Incentivizing driver and rider referrals

Regarding retaining users while attracting your target audience for the growing number of app downloads, referrals and incentives work best. 

For Drivers:

For your workforce or any company's workforce, the progress they see in their work keeps them engaged and loyal to the work. The best way to positively reinforce productive driving behaviors is to have a reward and recognition in the app where they can see their goals achieved and a roadmap to earn more incentives. 

For Riders:

User engagement and loyalty can be derived from a rider referral program that enables both existing and new users to benefit from the app's users. The best example is Uber's rider referral "Refer and Earn Free Rides! ". 

2. Providing customer support and resources

An unhindered 24x7 support for the users (riders or drivers) who are facing any issues regarding the user or any features/functionalities of the app is what they require. The users view Quick issue resolution as a value-added service regardless of the business niches or industry. 

Conclusion: How to create a ride-sharing app

In a nutshell, if a ride-sharing app is your startup idea, you must take careful consideration from market research for competitive intelligence to building an MVP, ride-sharing app development, launching the app, marketing, promotion, support/maintenance, and more. 

Here are some conclusive thoughts that would assist you in building a ride-sharing app. 

How to create a ride-sharing app: Key factors 

If you want to surf the significant surge wave of the ride-sharing app market, here are some of the key factors you must consider for creating your ride-sharing app. 

  • Market and competitors' research
  • UVP
  • Features and functionalities
  • Design and development
  • Pre-launch activities
  • Post-launch activities
  • Revenue models

Final thoughts on revolutionizing urban transportation and creating new economic opportunities

With the adoption of modern ways of sharing rides by the arrival of giants like 

Uber, who disrupted the industry when it was the hardest, indicates that with value-added products, the tech business can disrupt and survive in the market. 

By driving an innovative approach in designing the app and offering a valuable UVP, business owners can benefit greatly from the changing ride-sharing market in terms of ROI. 

Ankit Kumar
Manager Global Key Accounts
Ankit is a Tech Enthusiastic Manager Global Key Accounts at SPEC INDIA. He loves to write and share content on latest technology news, updates, software tips for SMEs and more.

Get New Posts to Your Inbox

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
How to Create a Ride-Sharing App?