Aleksander Furgal Published: 8 Dec 2023 11 min to read

How to Make an App like Uber: Features, Tech Stack, Costs, and More

The global ride-sharing market has witnessed significant growth in recent years.

In 2023, the market size was estimated at approximately $42.21 billion and is projected to soar to $77.11 billion by 2028, growing at an annual rate (CAGR) of 12.81%​​.

This remarkable growth trajectory underscores the increasing demand for cost-effective and time-efficient transportation solutions worldwide. It can be attributed to a combination of technological advancements, changing consumer preferences, and an increasing emphasis on sustainable and cost-effective transportation solutions. As this market continues to evolve, it presents a fertile ground for new entrants to innovate and capture a share of this industry.

This article serves as a comprehensive guide for aspiring entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts. We delve into the intricacies of Uber’s business model, its unique features, and the sophisticated technologies powering the app. Additionally, we explore the strategic considerations in deciding your app’s business model, and provide an estimation of the costs involved in development.

How does the Uber app work?

Understanding the operations of the Uber app is crucial if you’re considering developing a similar app.

Ultimately, what made Uber so successful is its unique value proposition revolving around the concept of ride-sharing.

# Uber’s value proposition

Uber’s business has generated significant value for both passengers and drivers:

  • For passengers: The app offers on-demand cab bookings, real-time tracking, accurate ETAs, cashless rides, lower wait times, upfront pricing, and multiple ride options.
  • For drivers: Benefits include the flexibility to drive on their terms, better income potential, reduced idle time, training sessions, assistance in obtaining vehicle loans, and efficient trip allocation​​.

In terms of revenue, Uber earns money primarily through:

  • Trip commissions: Uber takes a commission (ranging from 15-30%) from the fare paid by the passenger.
  • Surge pricing: Prices increase during high demand, balancing supply and demand.
  • Premium rides and cancellation Fees: Higher margins on luxury rides and fees for late cancellations.
  • Leasing to drivers and brand partnerships/advertising: Offering vehicles to new drivers and leveraging its large user base for promotional activities​​.


# Other popular location-based on-demand apps

While Uber leads the market, several other ride-sharing apps are popular globally:

  • Lyft: The second-largest in the U.S., it’s known for a variety of vehicle options and operates in over 644 U.S. cities​​.
  • Gett: An Israel-based service operating globally, offering traditional cabs and limousine services​​.
  • Curb: Expanding in the U.S., it integrates a network of 50,000 taxis and hire cars across more than 65 cities​​.
  • Wingz: Specializing in airport transportation and offering pre-scheduled rides with a flat rate pricing model​​.
  • Via: Focuses on filling as many seats as possible in cars headed towards popular destinations, with static routes​​.
  • Scoop: A carpooling app that facilitates scheduling trips with co-workers and neighbors​​.
  • Bridj: An on-demand bus service operating luxury shuttles, now exclusively in Sydney​​.
  • GoKid: Focuses on organizing carpools for kids’ transportation to school and activities​​.
  • Arro and Flywheel: These apps provide on-demand transportation by tapping into networks of licensed taxis and professional drivers, with Arro available in select cities and Flywheel in areas like the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Sacramento, and San Diego​​.


The features you need to make an app like Uber

In developing an app like Uber, a key aspect is to incorporate a range of features that cater to the diverse needs of its users. Uber’s success can be attributed to its well-thought-out feature set, which enhances user experience for passengers, drivers, and admins alike.

Let’s delve into each category to understand the essential elements you should consider for your app.

An infographic showing the interaction between Uber's features for drivers and passengers.

The infographic shows the duality of a ride-sharing app: drivers and passengers use features that interact with one another.

# Features for passengers

The passenger interface in an app like Uber is pivotal. It’s where users interact most with your service. Therefore, the features you incorporate must be intuitive, user-friendly, and address the core needs of the riders. Key features include:

  • Book a ride: The fundamental feature where users can book a ride for immediate or future travel.
  • Real-time driver tracking: A GPS-based feature allowing passengers to track the driver’s location.
  • Real-time ride tracking sharing: This safety feature lets users share their ride details with contacts.
  • Fare splitting: Useful for passengers sharing rides, allowing them to divide the fare.
  • Multiple drop-off locations: Passengers can specify multiple stops, with the fare adjusting accordingly.
  • Multiple payment options: Catering to different payment preferences.
  • Preferred driver selection: Regular users can choose drivers they’ve had positive experiences with.
  • Driver review and rating: Passengers can provide feedback on their ride experience.
  • Trip history: Helps users track their past rides and expenses.
  • Saved destinations: Simplifies the booking process by saving frequently visited places​​.


# Features for drivers

The driver’s side of the app is equally important. It should be designed to simplify their operations and provide them with the necessary tools to offer an efficient service. Important features for drivers include:

  • Profile management: Allows drivers to manage personal and vehicle information.
  • Earnings panel: Displays earnings over different periods.
  • Auto offline when idle: Automatically changes the driver’s status based on activity.
  • Navigation integration: Provides real-time route guidance.
  • Trip cancellation options: Allows drivers to cancel rides for legitimate reasons.
  • Preferred destination pick-ups: Lets drivers set preferred pick-up locations.
  • Taxi-hailing feature: For picking up passengers without an app booking.
  • Limited working hours: Ensures drivers’ well-being by limiting working hours.
  • Daily summary report: Gives insights into daily performance.
  • Rider review and rating: Drivers can rate their experience with passengers​​.


# Admin panel

For an app like Uber, an efficient admin panel is crucial for overseeing and managing the entire operation. This backend interface must be robust and feature-rich to ensure smooth running of the service. Key admin features include:

  • Scheduled requests management: To keep track of all ride bookings.
  • Driver status monitoring: Observes driver availability and activity.
  • User reviews oversight: Manages feedback from both passengers and drivers.
  • Driver tracking: Utilizes GPS for real-time monitoring.
  • Partners management: Handles details of business partners.
  • Service type management: Allows modification of vehicle types and services.
  • Country configuration: Essential for managing operations in different regions.
  • Earnings reports: Provides financial insights for informed decision-making​​.

Working with founders, I’ve seen that the key to creating a successful ride-sharing app is not just to emulate successful models like Uber, but to innovatively address unmet needs and local market nuances that are often overlooked in the rush to launch. My advice is to focus on thorough market research and customization of the user experience to ensure that your app enters the market with a unique proposition that sets it apart from the competition. Mike Jackowski COO, ASPER BROTHERS Let's Talk


The tech behind Uber

Making an app like Uber is not only about emulating its functionalities but also understanding the underlying technological framework that makes it efficient and user-friendly. The technology stack of Uber is a blend of various tools, frameworks, and languages, carefully chosen to ensure seamless real-time operations, secure transactions, and an intuitive user experience.

Let’s delve into the core technologies, infrastructure, and development tools that comprise the backbone of Uber’s app.

# Core technologies powering the Uber app

Before we talk about specific tools and frameworks, let’s go over the core technologies that power Uber:

  • Mobile-first approach: Uber’s foundation lies in its mobile-first approach. The app is developed using iOS and Android frameworks, emphasizing an intuitive user interface for both drivers and riders. This mobile-centric design is crucial for the on-demand, real-time nature of the service​​.
  • Real-time data processing: Central to Uber’s operation is its ability to process data in real-time. This technology is pivotal in providing accurate estimated times for rides by analyzing GPS data and traffic conditions, ensuring that riders and drivers are always informed​​.
  • GPS tracking: Essential for navigation and tracking, GPS technology is integrated into the app to monitor the real-time locations of riders and drivers, facilitating efficient route planning and ride management​​.
  • Payment processing: A secure and convenient payment process is vital. Uber incorporates advanced payment processing technologies, allowing riders to pay through stored credit cards and ensuring secure transactions​​.
  • Machine learning: Uber leverages machine learning algorithms to optimize ride matching and pricing. This includes analyzing rider behavior, driver availability, and traffic patterns to enhance overall ride efficiency and customization​​.


# Development tools and frameworks used by Uber

The technology stack of Uber is a testament to the complexity and sophistication required to build a robust and scalable ride-sharing app that works both as a web and mobile app. It’s a harmonious integration of the following technologies, each playing a critical role in delivering the seamless experience that Uber is known for:

  • For Web applications: The Uber web app utilizes Node.js and Fusion.js, employing Browserify and Express.js for client-side and backend development. This allows for a robust, secure, and versatile web application suitable for Uber’s diverse services​​.
  • Android app development: The Android version of Uber is built with a suite of technologies including Java, Gradle, and several others for networking, dependency injection, image loading, and automation​​.
  • iOS app development: For the iOS app, technologies such as Swift, Objective-C, and various tools for components building, crash reporting, and testing are employed​​.
  • Additional technologies: A range of other technologies such as Python, Go, Java, Apache Hive, Apache Cassandra, MySQL, Docker, and HAProxy are used across different aspects of the app for functionalities like booking, marketplace operations, data management, and infrastructure support​​.


# Geospatial technology in Uber

Uber employs sophisticated geospatial technology for effective service delivery:

  • Mapping and data visualization: Uber uses maps embedded with rich location data and can render millions of GPS points rapidly, which are essential for real-time tracking and service optimization.
  • kepler.gl: This open-source geoanalytics tool enables interactive map creation and geospatial data analysis. It’s capable of handling large-scale data, offering layers like points, arcs, paths, polygons, grids, and hexbins in 2D and 3D, to visualize various aspects like fares, ETAs, and ride distributions.
  • GPU-accelerated layer geometry calculations: This feature allows smooth rendering of millions of points, making kepler.gl a powerful tool compared to traditional cartography software​​​​​​​​​​.


# Infrastructure and data management in Uber’s tech stack

Each day, Uber’s app handles an enormous amount of user data across the globe. To do so efficiently, the company implemented th following solutions:

  • Cloud infrastructure: Uber’s vast operation is supported by cloud-based infrastructure, which provides the scalability and data processing capabilities needed to handle its global user base efficiently​​.
  • From monolith to microservices: Initially, Uber used a monolithic software architecture, but with rapid growth, it shifted to a microservice architecture in 2014. This change enabled Uber to manage different services like rides and food delivery independently, providing greater flexibility and scalability​​.
  • Advanced system architecture – DOMA: Further evolving, Uber adopted the Domain-Oriented System Architecture (DOMA). This layered design approach organizes the system around various service domains, enhancing the flexibility and independence of different app components​​.


Deciding on your Uber-like app’s business model

When contemplating the creation of an app similar to Uber, a well-thought-out business model is crucial for success. Let’s explore the key aspects you need to consider.

# The “Uber for X” business model

Uber’s model, known as “Uber for X,” operates as a two-sided marketplace. This innovative approach involves connecting service providers (drivers) directly with customers (riders), with Uber facilitating the interaction. The drivers, who aren’t employees but partners, enjoy flexibility in their work schedules. This model has appealed to a broad audience, leading to its widespread adoption. It’s important to note how Uber’s network effect enhances the service: more drivers and riders lead to better pickup times, lower prices, and overall improved customer satisfaction​​.


# Uber’s revenue models

When choosing a revenue model for your app, it might be beneficial to understand the ways in which Uber makes its money.

Across their services, Uber uses the following models:

  • Commission-based revenue: Uber charges a commission (15-30%) on each ride, which is a significant revenue source.
  • Delivery-based revenue: For services like Uber Eats, Uber charges fees based on pickup, delivery, and distance.
  • Advertising revenue: Uber utilizes its app for promotions and brand partnerships.
  • Subscription-based revenue: Uber offers premium services through subscription models like Uber One​​.


# Additional considerations for a profitable business model

When designing your business model, incorporating ideas tailored to your target market is key. Your model should cater to the evolving needs and preferences of your users and follow standards they are used to.

Remember about:

  • Recognizing customer needs: Uber’s success stems from its ability to identify and fulfill customer needs, offering comfort, convenience, and safety.
  • Implementing advanced features: Adding features like real-time tracking, notifications, and optimized routing enhances user experience.
  • Digital payment integration: Providing multiple digital payment options is essential.
  • Effective marketing strategies: Engaging in impactful marketing and advertising to attract and retain users is crucial​​.


How much does it cost to develop an app like Uber?

Developing an app like Uber is an ambitious project that involves multiple facets, each contributing to the overall cost. Here, we break down the main factors that drive the cost of creating such an app.

While the initial development cost can be substantial, it is important to also budget for ongoing maintenance and updates post-launch.

# The broad cost range

When talking about development costs, it’s difficult to provide a concrete number. Before we delve into the specifics, we can make a general estimation:

The cost to create an app like Uber varies significantly, ranging from $15,000 to $60,000 on average​​.

This broad range can be attributed to several key factors:

  • Development stages: The development process of an app like Uber involves distinct stages such as business analysis, UX/UI design, back-end and iOS/Android development, quality assurance, and project management​​.
  • Technology choices: The choice of technology, whether to build a native app for each platform (iOS and Android) or a hybrid app, significantly influences the cost​​.
  • Features and complexity: The number and complexity of features, such as real-time location monitoring, route optimization, and payment methods, are primary cost drivers​​.
  • Type of development company: The rates charged by the development company, varying by geographical location and expertise level, also impact the overall cost​​. For instance, hourly rates can range from $30 in India to $170 in the US​​.


# Factors influencing the cost

  • Features: The complexity of features directly impacts pricing. More advanced features like real-time location tracking, fare computation, and driver ratings increase development costs​​.
  • Platform: Developing for multiple platforms (iOS, Android, web) requires additional design and development efforts, influencing the total cost​​.
  • Map and location services: Integrating services for tracking and navigation, often involving third-party APIs like Google Maps, incurs additional fees​​.
  • User authentication and security: Implementing robust security measures for user authentication and data protection is essential but adds to the development effort and cost​​.
  • Backend development and scalability: Developing a scalable backend to handle growing user demand and manage ride requests, user accounts, and payment processing can significantly increase costs​​.


# Maintenance and post-deployment costs

Post-launch, the app will require ongoing maintenance and updates. Industry norms suggest that maintenance costs can be about 15 to 20 percent of the original development costs annually​​.



As we look to the future, the ride-sharing industry is on the cusp of transformative growth and innovation. The escalating market size and rapid technological advancements suggest a landscape ripe for disruption and creativity. For entrepreneurs and developers looking to create the next big app like Uber, the opportunities are vast, but so are the challenges.

The future of ride-sharing is likely to be shaped by emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics, which will provide even more personalized and efficient services. There will also be a growing emphasis on sustainability, with eco-friendly options and electric vehicles becoming more prevalent.

In addition, the integration of ride-sharing with other transportation modes and services could redefine urban mobility. As we move forward, the lines between different modes of transportation may blur, leading to more cohesive and user-friendly solutions.

The road ahead is exciting and full of possibilities. For those looking to make their mark in this rapidly evolving industry, the key will be to remain adaptable, innovative and responsive to the changing needs and preferences of consumers. Ultimately, making an app like Uber is about envisioning and shaping the future of urban transportation.



Aleksander Furgal

Content Specialist



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