The basic modus operandi of so many things has changed today. If you are a millennial, you know how there has been a massive shift in the way we consume different services these days. A few years ago, we would wait on the streets and wave our hands to stop and hire a cab nearby. However today, we simply use one of the ride-hailing apps on our smartphones to do the same from the comfort of our homes or anywhere we might be at that moment.
Ever since Uber became a prominent name in the market, the popularity of online on-demand ride-hailing services soared towards the sky. With a span in over 60 countries and 400 cities worldwide, Uber today is the biggest “taxi chain” in the world. This company has grown beyond expectations.
Look at the following stats for the third quarter of 2019:
Uber is a pioneer of not just on-demand ride-hailing services, but also an array of other on-demand services found their ways following a similar business model. Talk about other popular ride-sharing services like Lyft and Ola, or on-demand food delivery services such as Uber eats and eat24, this business model is like an iceberg. It’s way bigger below the horizon of your vision.
It no brainer why a number of entrepreneurs rely on a similar model to venture into the on-demand service market. However, we would like to focus on on-demand taxi services and how an Uber clone script, which forms a replica of Uber’s business model, can be an ideal solution to start a new online taxi business.
Moving in the same direction, we will discuss the following points in this article to analyze the effectiveness of an Uber clone script critically:
- How Uber works?
- What’s its business model?
- How Uber make money?
- The technology stack of Uber
- Is Uber clone a suitable solution?
- How you can get a good Uber clone script?
How Uber works?
Uber became a hit because it was the first of its kind. However today, we also see a number of other similar services, and still, Uber is the leader. It’s only because of its value proposition to the people. With its unique initiatives, Uber has established itself as a synonym for taxi services. Today, we don’t say, “I will book a cab to the office”. Instead, we say, “I will Uber to the office”.
Nonetheless, the company has created thousands of in-house jobs and millions of livelihoods for Uber drivers around the globe. Today, anyone can develop a mobile app in just a few weeks, but Uber started with a unique business idea in an era where custom software solutions were royalty.
The current workflow of Uber is a result of the efforts put by its founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. To build Uber the way it works today, Kalanick had to sell his company ‘Red Swoosh’ to Akamai for $19 million, while Garret Camp sold his ‘StumbleUpon’ to eBay for $75 million (source). As a result, today we see Uber working in the following manner to offer its services:
- Step 1: Ride Request: Passengers place a ride request mentioning the details such as pick-up location, Drop location, ride type, vehicle type, and payment preference. Passenger can see an estimated ride fare for each type of ride available on the list.
- Step 2: Driver’s side: A nearby driver is notified of the ride request with certain information about the passenger and the trip. If accepted, the app navigates the driver to the pickup location, while notifying the passenger about ride confirmation at the same time.
- Step 3: Passenger side: Passenger gets the ride confirmation with details such as vehicle plates, ETA to the pick-up location, driver’s personal details, and ETA to the drop location.
- Step 4: Payments: Upon completion of the ride, the algorithm calculates the final fare and notifies the same to both the passenger and the driver. Depending on the region of the service, Uber uses multiple payment methods to collect the ride fare from the passengers. Credit cards, Debit cards, net banking, mobile wallets, etc. are some of them.
- Step 5: Rating and Feedback: Upon ride completion, both the passenger and the driver can rate each other based on their experiences.
Understanding the fundamental flow of Uber’s app is crucial to anyone who is willing to invest some time, money, and efforts creating a similar business. However, Uber there is much more in its business model that is even important than the fundamental workflow. Let’s understand how Uber operates from a business point of view.
Uber Business Model
The fundamental business model of all the ride-hailing apps we see these days are almost similar. All of them work on the on-demand service model, which allows a customer to not only request for a service in real-time but also track the progress with technologies like geo-tracking and real-time push notifications. Talking particularly about the Uber, the platform functions as a combination of two prominent business models:
- On-demand service model: It allows its customers to book and track its services in real-time on-demand.
- Marketplace model of eCommerce: It does not maintain a fleet of its own (let’s ignore some recent advancements and focus on the primary model). Uber is an aggregator that connects cab drivers to the people who want to hire them.
Apart from this, Uber has sophisticated its primary offerings by adding different types of vehicles in the aggregated fleet, different types of booking (shared and private), and different types of rides (short, long, round trips, and outstation trips, etc. ).
Revenue Model of Uber App
Uber’s primary source of income is the fees, charges, or commissions it takes from the cab owners/drivers in return for its connecting services. Uber calculates the fee as a percentage cut on each payment done by the passengers after a ride. Apart from this, it also charges miscellaneously from customers for waiting, ride-cancelation, and surge charges during busy hours. Uber shares the income from these sources as well with its drivers.
Please note: While Uber adds waiting-charges in the invoice of the current ride itself, it adds cancelation charges in the ride fare of the next ride. If you make Uber driver wait for you, be ready to pay a waiting charge along with your current ride fare. However, if you cancel your booked ride after a certain period, you need to pay the cancellation fee before you can book your next ride.
Technology Stack of Uber App
So how Uber manages all these complex operations? How it calculates ride fare, waiting-charges, and surge fee, etc.? How it generates the invoice for your ride? How it allocates a cab to a passenger? How it manages to stay up all the time without downtime? How it manages millions of customers, active rides, databases, drivers, and others without facing a slowdown?
The answers to all these questions lie in the technology stack of Uber. Uber’s major technology stack is MERN, which uses node.js for both front-end and back-end programming. Besides, node.js also lets the platform manage databases through NOSQL and communicate with the server using the same Node.js technology.
If you want to know how to make an app like Uber in 2019, there are various feasible technology stacks to achieve similar functionalities, but you should also know the Uber’s original tech stack. According to stackshare.io, Uber possess the following technology stack of development tools, business solutions, and third-party APIs:
Depending on your budget, you can use the same stack or get alternatives to most of them, but there are certain requirements you can’t overlook:
It’s a requirement you can’t miss out on. A ride-booking application uses Geolocation tracking at almost every point in the process. From assigning a trip to a driver, navigating the driver to the pick-up point, drop location, and real-time ride tracking for passengers, to the calculation of final ride-fare, you need geolocation tracking technology for everything. Some of the widely used technologies by the developers are as follows:
- Core Location Framework (Apple device)
- Google Location API (Android Device)
- Google Maps API (Android Navigation)
- MapKit API (iOS Navigation)
Push Notifications and SMS:
Be it Apple, Android, or website, you need push notifications and SMS for a variety of errands on a cab-booking platform. You need them to communicate with the passengers and drivers at instances such as Booking request, Ride accepted, Cab arrived, Destination arrived, Show ride-fare, Payment reminder, New offers, and many more. Here are some technologies at your disposal to manage push notifications and SMS communications on your ride-booking platform:
- Google’s Firebase Cloud Messaging for browser push notifications on Android
- Google’s cloud messaging for Android push notifications from Apps
- Apple push notifications services for both websites and app on iOS devices
- Twilio, Nexmo, Plivo, Sinch for SMS on all kinds of platforms.
Uber uses one of the leaders to manage card payments –Braintree. Braintree is a great option; however, you can also use another popular payment gateway –Stripe, which is one of the major payment partners of Lyft. Besides, PayPal and Card.io also make credit card payments seamless on both iOS and Android. Apart from card payments, you can also include Net banking and some local payment methods as well in your list. You can experiment with Digital Wallets and Mobile Payments, too.
Is an Uber App Clone a Suitable Solution?
Clone scripts are nothing but a business strategy used by software development firms to sell their services. Software developers take a popular business name as a base and develop ready-made solutions on the same business model. They build clone scripts of popular brands because it’s easier to explain a particular software solution when clients can compare them to an already-known business.
Take the Uber app clone scripts for instance. If we tell that we have a ready-made taxi-booking app for you, you would have millions of questions about how it works, what’s the business model, how you can make money with it, etc. However, if we say that we have an Uber clone for you. You would instantly understand how this script works. That’s the sole purpose of building and selling a clone script.
Using an Uber clone script to build your platform, you can save a lot of time and money that you could have wasted developing the same thing from scratch. If you have a similar business model like Uber’s in your mind, you should get an open-source Uber clone script with the following two aspects:
- The number of solutions required:
- – Two Mobile Apps: Passenger and Drivers apps
- – One web-based admin panel to manage everything
- – Separate or hybrid apps: Android and iOS
- Features required:
- – Fundamental features of Uber’s platform for all users: Admin, Passenger, and Driver
How to make an app like Uber using a clone script? It’s easy. You can purchase any of the well-known Uber clone scripts from the market by paying a one-time cost. The vendors will host the script on your web server, apps on respective app stores, install web services to synchronize the web script with mobile apps, set up the platform, and that’s it, you have a live ride-sharing platform.
Are you still confused if using an Uber clone to start your ride-hailing platform is a good idea? You will find the following pros valuable, as using an open-source Uber clone allows you to:
- Save a lot of time, money, and effort.
- Save a lot of research and development.
- Launch your business quickly in a short span.
- Host your platform on a web server of choice.
- Get regular software version updates from vendors.
- Customize the script to add any new feature or revamp the UI.
Building a ride-hailing platform is not a challenging task these days. Each day, hundreds of entrepreneurs use Uber clones as a cost-effective alternative to development from scratch. What’s our take in this? We would suggest using an Uber clone only if you have a similar business model in your plan. Although clone scripts are generally open-source, white-labeled, and customizable, you may still want to consider developing your platform from scratch if you are thinking about an entirely new business model.
However, you must also know that Uber’s business model is not limited to ride-sharing alone. You can start an array of many other businesses using the same solution. On-demand food delivery, medicine delivery, beauty parlor at home, mechanics, or any other service, an Uber clone can build a platform for all kinds of on-demand business ideas with some minor tweaks.