Rideshare is becoming an increasingly popular business in many parts of the world. It is a highly lucrative opportunity with millions of riders using ridesharing apps for meeting their daily needs of commute. What exactly is a rideshare business and how does one create an app for it? Let’s explore.

Ridesharing 101

Ridesharing, also known as ride-hailing is a transportation service provided by companies such as Uber, Lyft, Grab, Cabify, etc. Conventionally, the term ‘ridesharing’ was used for instances where the driver and passenger shared a common destination. However, the mobility service industry has reinvented the meaning of this word and uses it interchangeably with the term ‘ride-hailing. The modern use of the term ‘ridesharing’ signifies the following process:

  • A ride is requested by a client over a transportation networking company’s app.
  • This request is received and then matched with a nearby driver by the transportation networking company.
  • The driver picks up the passenger from the specified spot and drops them off on their pre-defined destination.
  • This destination does not necessarily have to be the same as drivers. This means that the rider and the driver are two independent users of the same service whereby one pays money to be relocated to the destination of their choice and the other earns money by completing a certain number of rides in a day. Both the parties are neither related to each other nor have a similar drop off destination. Some people refer to this process as ride-sourcing

Whether the right word for this process is ride-hailing or ride-sourcing, the norm of the industry is to call this process ridesharing.

Creating a Rideshare App

In order to create a rideshare app for your business, you need to first get yourself acquainted with numerous technologies. These include software required for web development and establishing back-end infrastructure. You also need to gain insights into the features of a typical rideshare app and its management.

Features of a Rideshare App

To begin with, a well-integrated rideshare app has different sub-apps for drivers and riders. The basic features for both these apps remain the same. However, their usage changes according to the person accessing them. They are a login portal, a booking option, geolocation tab and push notifications. A login portal is required by both the rider and the driver to log on to their versions of the app and access its services. They may log on to the app by entering their phone numbers, email addresses or social media logins. The booking option is needed by the riders to request a ride and by the drivers to either accept a ride or cancel it. If the rider accepts the request matched by the systems, a ride is said to be booked.

The geolocation option is needed by both the riders and drivers to enter and find different destinations and navigation guidelines. Lastly, the push notifications are a feature used by the company to inform both, the riders and drivers about the arrival of the ride, where it was ended, the amount received and how the payment was made (via cash or credit).

Other than the ones mentioned above, riders’ app has additional features which include price calculators to help them estimate fare, payment options to help them pay the drivers, ratings, and reviews to give feedback, and messaging to keep them informed about new features, promotional offers, and discounts. Similarly, the drivers’ app has only one additional feature which is about cost estimation of their ride so that they are informed about the total fare which they are supposed to collect upon ending the ride.

Once you have educated yourself about the two sub-apps and know that you will need a background infrastructure to host and integrate information from both of these, now you come to the technical part of app development.

The Process of App Development

If you’re wondering how to create a rideshare app, continue reading.

The process of developing a rideshare app includes developing the riders app, drivers app and an admin panel which would overlook and manage the activities of both. The first step in creating your own rideshare app is working on its backend infrastructure. The best practice is to involve a team of developers to help app owners establish their backend databases and resources.

Backend development requires professionals to set up a rideshare company’s server, integrating maps and installing payment options. Servers are required to store all incoming information about riders and drivers. They serve as a storage location where the data is stored for a long period of time and can be accessed whenever required by the company to match against a request. Various kinds of servers, such as Cloud servers, Customer servers, Database, and Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), are available to app developers. They may select any one of the following and lay a foundation for the backend development of a rideshare app.

Maps are needed to help riders and drivers find and locate pick-up spots and drop-off destinations. The more up to date maps, the better the navigation. Developers can either choose mapping software that works well with both, iOS and Android platforms or select the ones which are platform-specific such as Google Map and Google Locations services for Android and MapKit or CoreLocation for iOS.

Once a mapping software is decided upon, the developers need to integrate it into the backend so that when users, whether drivers or riders, switch on GPS on their devices they can easily be found by the management and matched against each other’s request. Also so that drivers are able to find their way around the vicinity and riders are able to map and track their ride.

Thirdly, integration and installation of payment methods is also a vital step in setting up the backend infrastructure. You need to assess which payment options you want your riders to have. Many rideshare apps like Uber accept both cash and credit card payments. Other in-app payment methods may include PayPal, Stripe, etc. Select the one you prefer and have your team of developers integrate it into the structure accordingly.

Other areas of backend development include developing a system for sending users the push notification and messaging them when needed. For both these features, relevant technologies and cloud communication platforms can be found and accessed easily by the developers’ team.

The web development and native app development steps of rideshare app development would require your team to work on creating interactive options for your users to access the features built-in their apps. The outlook and design of your app in conjunction with its ease of use and navigation will definitely make it popular with your users.

Conclusion

Post-development, the owner needs to make endeavors to run and manage the platform created efficiently. The total cost estimation of creating a rideshare app is roughly around $35000. This cost is for a rideshare app that caters to only one platform users, either iOS or Android. If you wish to create a rideshare app that caters both, iOS and Android users the cost may double or go even higher.