How to Make a Rideshare App and Is It Worth Doing?

How to Make a Rideshare App and Is It Worth Doing?

11 min
Dec 16 2020
Rideshare is a kind of apps for finding drivers and fellow travelers in real time.
Rideshare is a fast growing industry. Such a system helps society to alleviate or solve the following problems:
  • Reduces the load on public transport on various routes (both within cities and beyond);
  • Allows to overcome the required route at the lowest prices;
  • You can negotiate a trip with the driver in advance or immediately.
In a world where travel is becoming more and more in demand. Such a system has become a "magic wand" for people who have to constantly travel and spend enormous amounts of money on it. This led to the division of Rideshare into ways of interaction:
  • Regular route - the route and travel time is repeated at regular intervals;
  • Classic route - the trip is planned in advance and the trip is long-term (from 100 km);
  • Dynamic route - trips like a taxi and take place within city limits.
There are subtypes of applications, which are actively developing on the market for each of the listed types. However, many aspects of such travel still need to be improved as a number of countries still reject the idea of Rideshare. In many ways, the stagnation of Rideshare development rests on the incomes of the residents of the countries, but already regional startups are taking the idea into service and coming up with ways to make it even more acceptable.
The idea of Rideshare has many ambitious implementations. For example, systems for renting cars, bicycles and other forms of transportation can be picked up and dropped off anywhere in the city, are taken from the idea of Rideshare.
With the beginning of the pandemic, many analysts predicted a decline in the use of apps like Rideshare. But in reality, the decline has occurred in part. Since many public transportation and taxi systems were busy or out of order, people switched to ordering cars through Rideshare apps. After all, it was a quick and convenient way to reach your destination without taking serious risks. But applications such as BlaBlaCar suffered financial losses. Since the desire to travel with fellow travelers, where anyone can be infected with COVID-19, people feared.
If you want to create an application like Rideshare, you should know all the trends, positive aspects, requirements and risks of this business.

Successful Rideshare Application Examples

Getting inspired to create your own app is always easier by looking at popular examples. This allows us to understand why customers love them, what are their disadvantages and what functions they implement.
At the end of 2019 and half of 2020, the top popular Rideshare applications were compiled:
  • Uber. Well-known and used American ride-sharing application in many countries of the world, which offers its users several functions:
  1. Standard rides like a taxi;
  2. Private car trips;
  3. Travel in luxury business class vehicles;
  4. Food delivery.
These services were not immediately formed at Uber. The latter appeared at a time of an acute shortage of delivery companies, which were particularly busy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber is the app that sets the pace for the entire industry. The application operates in 65 countries around the world and develops new markets every year. However, these factors do not address the shortcomings of the Uber system:
  1. Travel can be very expensive during rush hour or due to bad weather conditions (rain, heavy snow, etc.);
  2. The application has received criticism from several countries for the security system.
The company is actively working on these disadvantages. However, these factors allow us to understand how you can create a ridesharing application to avoid the pitfalls of popular software.
  • Lyft. The competition with Uber is especially noticeable in the US market. The app, like Uber, offers rides from the drivers that have been contacted. But the functionality of Lyft is:
  1. Traveling by business class car;
  2. Standard trip like a taxi.
Unlike Uber, this app has earned a reputation for being safe. Because drivers are required to undergo background checks. Lyft drivers also maintain a friendly service. In return, the company looks after its drivers for being friendly with customers. Despite this, Lyft could not avoid problems:
  1. Lyft criticized for lowering driver hiring standards;
  2. Its work is carried out only in the United States and Canada, which does not allow you to feel the difference in service to the countries in which Uber operates.
  • Gett. The application is originally from Israel, which has expanded to many countries around the world (more than 100 cities in Europe, Russia and the UK, you can order a car through this application). A distinctive feature of the software is that it works with existing taxi companies in the local market. It also hires drivers who are not tied to any company. Another point is Gett's focus on business customers. This allows the company to provide such services:
  1. Calling a taxi, business class cars and limousines;
  2. Lower prices than US companies.
But, the application also has a drawback:
  1. Difficulty calling a taxi during rush hour.
And although there is only one drawback, it gives a big advantage to Gett's competitors.
  • Grab. Uber's main competitor in Southeast Asia. Its success is in the wide range of services provided that are built into the application:
  1. Many types of trips, from business class to motorcycle order;
  2. The ability to order a trip with other passengers, which is more budgetary for long-distance trips;
  3. 24/7 support for drivers and customers in the call center;
  4. The opportunity to find and rent accommodation during the trip in the place where the client comes.
Despite the extensive and developed logistics, the application is developed only in a number of Southeast Asian countries and is experiencing difficulties due to the following factors:
  1. The application has caught on only in a few countries in Southeast Asia;
  2. The price of the trip depends on the time of day on the same routes;
  3. Sometimes drivers may not find a client or even refuse a trip when it has already been agreed.
  • BlaBlaCar. International travel companion search application. It differs from all the competitors listed above in that it does not hire drivers at all. The drivers are ordinary people who register and offer a ride through the application. Then the fellow travelers can agree immediately or set a date when they will go, where it is most convenient to pick up and drop off the passenger. Paying is often the same as spending on gas. The application earns from the percentage that it takes from the transactions of drivers and passengers.
BlaBlaCar has become especially popular in countries with large territories, such as Canada, Russia and others. This service is cheaper than all of the above and is the leader among applications like it. It helps both on trains inside the city and outside it (many people use BlaBlaCar to travel).
However, this software has problems:
  1. Travel disruptions;
  2. The passenger may not be satisfied with the condition of the car, the cabin, the manner of communication and driving of the driver;
  3. Stressful situations associated with the negligence of drivers or the behavior of passengers;
  4. Many drivers ask to take few things with them, which is not always convenient for passengers;
  5. Opportunities for crime stories that alienate many customers from the service;
  6. Competition among drivers can prevent passengers from getting to their destination;
  7. A passenger can look for a driver for a very long time, so he decides to go where he needs to go.
Despite the long list of cons, BlaBlaCar is still the market leader as it works to improve the software and tries to develop more features for the safety of passengers and drivers.
There are many more types of Rideshare applications. Looking at the work of market leaders, it becomes clear what these applications are aimed at.

How do Rideshare apps work?

From examples of popular applications, you can see the general mechanism of online services. Each of them works to maintain three sides of the interaction:
  1. Driver;
  2. Passenger;
  3. Dispatcher (or application support staff).
The scheme of the application is built from these three parties of interaction. This process looks different for each side (also the level of functions depends on the elaboration of the software stack of applications).
General view of the application operation algorithm:
  1. The client enters the application and gives a ride request. The passenger notes where he needs to go, what class of car and how quickly the driver should arrive. Of course, an application like BlaBlaCar has different rules - the client gives a general request for a trip location, and then selects the drivers along the way. Also, most customers agree to the car, which is closest. But with this request, the application process begins.
  2. The driver and the passenger choose each other. If they are not embarrassed by anything in the driver's reviews, the condition of the car and the reviews, they agree to the trip.
  3. The passenger can “wedge” into the route with fellow travelers. So one car can compose its own logistic route based on the convenience and requests of each passenger.
  4. Start of the trip. It can be two variants for a passenger: an empty car and a taxi with passengers. During the trip, the driver and passenger interact and give an impression of each other. If something confuses a passenger, there is a special signal function in the application like "share trip with your friends" This function sends a signal to the call center that it is better to track the route using a navigator. Also, such a function can warn a person on social networks that he is driving from point A to B. This function is still imperfect and has not been introduced into all applications. And in applications like BlaBlaCar it is considered partially impossible.
  5. Payment. Payment is made in cash and by bank transfer. Often you can pay for the trip before you start. In BlaBlaCar, payment is made in cash to the driver, only after the trip. But bus tickets in this application can be purchased online.
  6. End of trip and review. A number of apps have made post-trip reviews mandatory. This is necessary to improve the quality of service and the orientation of drivers and passengers at the second stage of this algorithm.
This system allows applications to run uninterrupted and get better. However, as already mentioned, certain services have their negative aspects of work.
Improving Rideshare apps allows them to stay on trend and increase their appeal to their audience. All major trends are associated primarily with improving the safety of passengers and drivers.
Security trends include:
  • The ability of the passenger to turn on tracking of his trip in the application and share the record about the car number and route with family and friends. Some applications have integrated an “SOS” button into their device, which automatically transfers the location to the application;
  • The ability of the driver to inform the dispatcher about inappropriate passenger behavior by recording audio or video evidence into the system.
Many of these trends are already working and are actively used in popular Rideshare applications. If we are talking about new products, which enter into this area, their general trend is in the following technologies:
  • The system of voice ordering a taxi through a phone or smart speaker;
  • Integration of additional functions into the application not related to travel (for example, the ability to order food, book accommodation, etc.);
  • The ability to leave not only a text review with an assessment of the quality of the trip, but also attach files (photo or video) to it.
These trends can be realized if the application already has the required technology stack.The basic features that every user of the Rideshare app expects to meet at the time of 2020 are:
  • User registration. Such a tool allows you not only to track the number of users and their status (driver / passenger), but also keep statistics on the application and a specific account (number of reviews, ratio of positive and negative, etc.);
  • Search for a trip or “car nearby”. This function uses GPS technology, which allows you to see a map of the area, the distance of nearby cars and make it possible for the driver to find the passenger faster.
  • Reject / Accept. This function allows the driver to refuse the passenger if he is confused by his account or chat. The passenger has the same right.
  • Chat. This feature helps communication between drivers and passengers.
  • Receiving payments. A system that allows you to pay for trips online through user-friendly payment mechanisms (debit from a bank card, Apple App Store, Google Play Store, etc.).
  • Push notifications. Serve as a reminder to the driver when to pick up a passenger. For the passenger, this system is brief information with a reminder when and what time the driver will arrive.
  • Rating. Introduced among passengers and customers so that they can study each other before deciding to travel. It is possible thanks to the feedback system, rating by reactions and information gathering (often by AI).
These functions are basic for applications like Uber. However, the creation of such applications bears the risk which is better to know.

Risks of creating a Rideshare app

Most of the risks have an impact on human factors. Common problems of bad reputation of apps like Uber and BlaBlaCar are:
  • Monitoring the safety of the trip. Uber and BlaBlaCar are trying to come up with more and more ways to introduce safe cooperation for the passenger and driver. The problem is that no one is safe from an inadequate driver or passenger. It's really affecting the trust of applications (officials do not take responsibility for incidents, since drivers are not technically their employees). And although protection systems are invented every year, there is no question of effective and complete provision of driver and passenger safety. But perhaps it is your idea of ​​such an application that can correct the current situation.
  • Quality control of the trip. Information about cleanliness of the automobile, number of passengers, and professionalism of the driver you can see only in the trip. Often users have abandoned applications after a couple of bad experiences. But, if you look at an application like Lyft, it was able to find a way out of this situation - stimulating drivers to be clean and service, for additional opportunities.
  • High level of competition. With global giants Rideshare and regional firms already operating in the marketplace, there is less confidence that an emerging application will withstand the competition. However, an original idea that you may have already found by looking at the positive and negative aspects of the work of certain applications will help to stand out from the competition.
All these risks require a huge number of logistics, management and economic decisions. However, they can be solved by an original idea, which at a stage will prevent all the listed threats.
If, after all the enumerations and risk studies, you are determined to develop Rideshare applications, the “Exceed Team” has prepared the stages of developing such applications for you.

Steps to create a Rideshare app

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Stage 1. Development of a business idea.

A business idea is something that allows you to build a harmonious work, create the most convenient application and stand out from your competitors. To formulate a business idea, you need to analyze the consumer market. It is convenient to do this by studying your competitors and the reviews of people on their sites. What did the customers like? Why are they angry and not want to use the competitor's app anymore? All these nuances must be studied to form a business idea.

Stage 2. A documentary description of the project and its functionality.

After you've formed your business idea, you need to write down how your Rideshare application should be.
To make the task easier, we offer a plan for writing project documentation that will allow you to structure your thoughts and describe all the details more succinctly:
  1. Business idea;
  2. Objectives (main and secondary);
  3. Who is the audience of the app?
  4. What problems does the application solve?
  5. What functions can it provide to its users?
  6. How does it perform these functions?
  7. How to ensure the security of the application clients?
  8. What features or management approaches differ the app from the competition?
This list is very short, but it will help to give a structure to the first thoughts that come to you. If you want to seriously work out the idea of the application and its potential, we'll advise you to develop a business plan.
Let's look at the functionality of the project in more detail. The Rideshare App Trends section described the basic features of the apps and the trends that the market is starting to adopt. In addition, we can provide you with a list of advanced features that can make your application more unique and easier to use.
Advanced features of Rideshare apps:
  • Word translation function. The ability to automatically translate into the required language will allow more active use of applications by everyone, regardless of their language.
  • Tip. The opportunity to leave your compliment to the driver in the form of a cash reward. This can further motivate drivers to maintain service;
  • Discount offers to new or regular users. Everyone likes to save. You can think of many ways to encourage use of the service. The app makes it easier to see if passengers are meeting the conditions for the discount.
  • "SOS". This function has already been discussed in the course of our blog, but its functionality can be expanded. From showing the route and reporting the current location, to calling the police when pressed.
  • Offline mode. Being online is the main principle of working with many applications. But what if the trip is scheduled to those places where there are problems with the Internet? The development of this mode will allow the driver and passenger to interact with the application even at a low network level.
  • Travel planning calendar. Setting the time and date when the car should wait for the passenger is a great idea, especially for people in a business environment. Also, such a solution may appeal to people who do not want to travel in crowded public transport and are willing to pay for Rideshare services.
Having described the functionality of the application you need, it remains to contact an experienced development team that they are ready to take on your project.

Stage 3. Search and cooperation with the software development team.

The “Exceed Team” recommends contacting an experienced team of application developers, since the teams officially working for the company, taking on your project, undertake to:
  • Create an application within the terms established by the contract;
  • Do not spread the unique idea of your application on the Internet;
  • Provide you with a high-quality web application;
  • Carry out transparent work and report on the current status of project readiness at the request of the client.
You can read more about the stages of cooperation and what aspects you need to consider in order to select the most suitable development team for yourself, you can read in our blog.
When you have already started cooperation, the project moves on to the next stage.

Stage 4. Choosing a platform for the application.

The most common use of Rideshare applications with mobile phones. This shrinks the platform choice to Android and iOS. From the experience of creating applications, the “Exceed Team” assures that it is best to implement your application on both of the proposed platforms so that users of any software can easily open and use the application.
If we turn to the statistics collected during the CIRP survey for 2020, the numbers will be next:
  • Android - 91% of users
  • iOS - 86% of users
This high use of the Android system is due to the overwhelming majority of mobile and other device companies choosing Android for their products. But the final choice of the platform should be based on the issue of regionality. So, in the United States, the overwhelming number of users work with iOS, while in China, on the contrary, Android. Research your local market to find out who uses which device the most. But a more concise solution would be to choose a location on two platforms at once.

Stage 5. Project design.

Design development is a very important part, which will determine the usability of the application, its harmony and exclusive look.
With design, it's not just about the color scheme, but about the overall look and interaction of the app with its users. That is, a general view of the menu, registration field, location of cards, etc. is being prepared, which will be filled with functionality at the next stage.
The general trend in app design is minimalism. This is something to keep in mind when designing the kind of application. Too many details will distract the user and exacerbate the likelihood of using the main application function.
At the same stage, the entire technological stack, which was described before, begins to be arranged as conveniently as possible for future users.

Stage 6. Application development.

This stage connects all the functions outlined in the design and allows them to work as efficiently as possible. Application development is also divided into several stages:
  • Programming. The programmer writes code for each of the selected function, allowing it to interact with it, make transitions, create automatic functions, etc. A very voluminous stage, which is internally divided into many tasks.
  • First testing of the project. First test of what was created. But there is still a lot to be done before the project is completed.
  • Installation. At this point, the web application is bound to the server and configured for optimal performance.
  • Final test. Identification of all types of errors and their correction before the delivery of the finished web application to the customer. If the tester finds errors, he writes them out and sends them to the programmers who are working on fixing them.
  • Delivery of the web application. At this stage, all errors are corrected, the work is checked and the customer is studying the finished product. Whether all wishes are met, whether everything continues to work effectively. If all these criteria work, then the customer is explained how he can work with the web application.
This concludes the work of the web application development team. But not yours, because the application needs to be made public.

Stage 7. Advertising of the application

The advertising campaign of your application is largely based on the original business idea and the written differences from competitors. Rideshare form applications are most logically advertised using the Internet:
  • Social networks;
  • Various web and other applications that are not direct competitors.
Also, radio is a popular method of advertising your Rideshare app. Many car enthusiasts turn on the radio on the road for a variety of trips. This will allow you to attract potential drivers and passengers.
Returning to the Internet environment, and specifically social networks, the following social networks are best for such a business area:
  • Facebook. A popular global social network that easily integrates with various applications and has more than 2 billion users.
  • YouTube. A popular video messenger that is viewed by 1.9 billion people every day.
  • Instagram. A social network visited by 1 billion people a day. Due to its visual style, it is a place of concentration for users. Running Instagram ads can bring people around the world to your company.
  • Tik Tok. A popular social network that produces short videos. At first sight, Tik Tok looks like a gathering place for young people to have fun. However, there are 500 million users on Tik Tok, including many people of different ages.
  • Twitter. A social network with short texts that has attracted 335 million people over the years. Advertising is well organized and has a capacious look.
The content and appearance of your ad is also based on the design that was given to the application in the sixth stage. This concludes the development of the application.

How Rideshare Apps Make Money

It's time to talk about the most enjoyable and key point - the monetization of the Rideshare app. In such applications, it is done in three ways:
  • Transaction interest. Collecting a certain percentage of the amount that drivers and passengers pay for using the platform. There is a fixed (for example, 10% in BlaBlaCar) and elastic (the percentage rises, with an increase in distance or other factor of an increase in the price of a trip).
  • Partnership. Cooperation with existing taxi companies or other services will allow you to expand the staff of drivers and charge you for mutually beneficial cooperation.
  • Advertising. As users grow, your app becomes more and more attractive as an advertising platform. This is a great additional source of income.
  • Payment for additional services. Sooner or later, any application expands its functionality. Otherwise, it becomes morally obsolete and potential customers go to competitors. The provision of additional services (as Uber, Grab and others began to do) will allow you to remain relevant, expand the company's cooperation and provide an opportunity to earn additional income for the application.
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Let's discuss your idea

Rideshare apps are both progressive, but they also take risks in their work. However, it may be your idea that will make the Rideshare application space even better.
If you want to create a similar application and consult on this issue - write to us.
The “Exceed Team” will advise you and select the perfect software development solution that fully satisfies all your ideas.
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