The Curtiss No. 1 aircraft created in the year 1909 had a maximum speed of 45 mph. Today, we are looking at everyday cars and even scooters that can easily beat that speed. This is a stunning example of how the demand for transportation has been progressing towards speed, economy, and efficiency. Not every transportation revolution has to do with better engines and performance. Some have to do purely with the operations and method of consumption.
One such revolution that happened to the world of transportation 100 years after the above-mentioned aircraft is the mobile app called Uber. Uber had successfully solved one of the biggest problems plaguing the transport industry by efficiently connecting the demand and supply. This was done by bringing together a personal profile and GPS. The GPS was once a technology confined to just aviation and military. However, today, it has become a part of every smartphone and Uber was quick to jump into this transformation.
The business model proliferated and propagated across multiple verticals and domains and it also grew laterally in other areas of transportation. One such impact was created in the field of ridesharing.
A Bit About Ridesharing
The meaning of ridesharing is quite literal! If you have space to accommodate someone in your vehicle, you can share that space with someone who wants to travel in the same or in some cases, almost similar direction. This ends up saving a considerable amount of money and fuel. It cannot be denied that there is some time lost because of ridesharing but it is a compromise that people are willing to accept because of the savings in terms of cost.
In the arena of ridesharing is not monotonous. They can be classified into different types: ridesharing, carpooling, and peer-to-peer car sharing. In the first kind, the driver of a vehicle can share the car with someone else heading in the same direction/destination. In the second kind, a group of people tags along with the driver when they head for the same destination. There is only sharing of fuel costs involved. The third kind is unique where car owners can opt to have their cars rented out for a fixed cost every month.
How Does a Ridesharing App Work?
On the surface, the way ridesharing applications work might seem simple and straightforward. However, there are a few complications under the hood that might need special attention.
- The entire process starts with a request made by a rider. The request is sent to the drivers in the vicinity.
- The driver will have an option to either accept or reject the request. If the drivers are gig workers, they should also have an option to toggle their availability.
- The passenger now gets an option to share their ride with other passengers who look for the same option/route/destination. It is to be remembered that the destination of other passengers might affect the route and time taken to reach the destination.
- Once everything has been confirmed, the ride commences and the driver starts to move the vehicle in the direction of the destination.
The ride is completed and it might be different destinations for every passenger. Once the ride is completed, the passenger gets an option to make payments using digital payment methods. If the destination is the same, the fare is equally split among the participating riders. However, if the destinations are different, the fare is split depending on the distance of travel.
Both the drivers and the passengers are given an option to read to each other based on the mutual experience. This encourages amicable and courteous behavior.
The Elements of Complication in Creating a Ride-sharing App
As you may have guessed, the complication lies in the areas of matching participating riders in the ridesharing process and also in calculating the fares of each passenger based on distance. In most cases, certain geographical boundaries are set up both for the destination and for the pick-up, so not much time is lost in picking up and dropping passengers. Artificial intelligence elements can help in figuring out better pickups and drops by taking into consideration factors like traffic and road quality.
Overcome the complications in developing by using a ready-made app solution. A white-label Uber clone coupled with inbuilt features and a business model can help you to speed up the development process by 16x.
The COVID-19 Transformation
Until Q4 2019, it seemed as if the ride-hailing and ridesharing segment were unshakable in terms of revenue growth and market-capture. However, the coronavirus pandemic slowed down the entire industry and pushed it back by a couple of years in terms of its market value, and the revenue is not expected to return to the projected normal until early 2022.
While the concept of taking individual cabs and transportation with family is expected to bounce back faster, ride-sharing might take quite some time. The aversion towards sharing a closed space with strangers will have its share of inertia even after the pandemic’s impact has considerably reduced.
However, once everything returns to normal, the need for ridesharing will surely increase as offices will open to the fullest capacity and tourism will return to its glory days. As many business experts would say, a not-so-vibrant time like this is a perfect time for you to kickstart your own ride-sharing on-demand business.
The Essential Features in Creating a Ride-sharing App
While the concept of ride-sharing might be a bit different than a normal cab booking, the skeleton remains the same. At the end of the day, ridesharing is also an on-demand business. There are a few features that need to be in place to ensure that the entire ecosystem functions smoothly.
The on-demand revolution was spearheaded by the GPS. A piece of technology that was once available for a few privileged if you became a part of almost every smartphone, rendering obsolete the difficulty of finding the location of a person who needs a particular service. With respect to ride-sharing, the GPS should help not only in finding the exact location of customers to be picked up and dropped but also in navigating to the destination while taking into consideration factors like traffic and road quality.
A mobile app also brings along with it, the convenience of digital payments. For customers, the app should give an option to pay using multiple payment methods like credit cards, debit cards, Internet banking, and wallets. For the gig drivers, payments need to be settled to their bank accounts as early as possible as they might depend on this alone for their bread and butter.
When we talk about payments, we will also need to address the cost of the trip. Calculation of fares even before the trip starts makes the app extremely marketable. Based on factors like the distance, the traffic, the demand, and maybe even the road quality, the fare needs to be calculated before the trip starts and the same amount needs to be charged unless there is a massive diversion or excessive delay in boarding the car.
Both the customer and the driver need to have a smooth onboarding process. The customer should be able to sign up using existing credentials like Google or Facebook, and also using their email address and phone number. The registration should create a profile that keeps a record of all the rides that they have ever booked in addition to the default payment methods that they choose.
The driver should also have an identity verification process in place before they are allotted trips. It would also be an added advantage for drivers to have a facility to upload their documents, so the verification process can be completed, and the driver can be approved for trips without much delay.
Both the driver and the customer(s) should be able to rate each other based on their professionalism and behavior. This will ensure courteous behavior from both parties without compromising on professionalism.
A few additional features will go a considerable distance in delighting both the customer and the driver. The driver should have a referral program that gives them monetary rewards. They should have a facility to look at all the details over a specific stretch of time. The customers should be provided with a panic button that alerts the administrator and the nearest police in case of any emergency. Both the driver and the customer should be able to communicate with each other over a chat option that is available right within the app. They should also be able to initiate a call if need be.
The administrator is responsible for the overall health and sanity of the app. They should be provided with a dashboard that gives them real-time data and insights. They should also have the authority to approve/disapprove drivers, disable the customers, and fix commercials. They should also be able to earmark certain territories as red zones, so services can be disabled in those areas.
As you may have guessed, a ride-sharing app is quite similar to Uber when it comes to its skeletal structure. Therefore, if you endeavor to launch a ride-sharing app, you can successfully do so with an Uber Clone app.
A white label Uber clone solution contains all the features of an app like Uber and can be customized according to the needs of specific businesses. If you would like to kickstart your ridesharing business with the mobile app, all you need to do is get in touch with the company that specializes in the development and customization of white-label Uber clone solutions. They will take care to understand your specific case, customize the app accordingly, and provide it to you, so you can launch your business in the shortest possible time.
Jennifer Atkinson is a growth hacker and marketer who helps startups in achieving online visibility and reach among their intended customers. Other than marketing and online workshops, she is interested in giving consultations for businesses that are looking to market their brand online.