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Guide to Ride Sharing App Development in London

When you hear “sustainable transport practices”, the first thought that might come to your mind is ‘ride-sharing’. It’s a viable mode of commuting in which people travelling on the same route or to the same destination hires the same car and divides the cost among them.

Ever since on-demand booking apps gained prominence due to technological advancements, the development of cab booking and ride-sharing apps has been remarkable and steady.

The car-sharing market is on the rise, with an anticipated growth of more than 40% in the next four years. Being an environment-conscious transportation business model, there is massive potential for any ridesharing apps. With the demand for carpooling anticipated to grow further, are you willing to invest in ride sharing app development and make terrific profits in the long run?

If yes, quickly walk through this comprehensive blog to understand how to develop a ride-sharing app.

10 Steps for a Successful Ride Sharing App Development in London

Ride-sharing is emerging as a sustainable, traffic-friendly, and cheaper option for commuting, especially for day-to-day travelling. Given the surge in the demand for carpooling options today, having your own ride-sharing app is a brilliant idea.

But how do you get started? We’ve included all the steps right from the start to let you smoothly embark on the journey of app development.

1. Grasp an Understanding of the Sharing Market

Even after a significant setback during the COVID-19 phase, the ride-sharing industry saw unprecedented growth in consecutive years. While its Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is expected to be 4.78% during 2024-2028, the number of users will also grow and is projected to reach 2.12 million by 2028.

It goes without saying that the ridesharing market has exceptional potential in the future, especially due to rapid urbanisation and growing concerns for environmental sustainability.

It’s nearly two decades of various ridesharing apps, LiftShare being the prominent one, that are making transportation convenient, cost-effective, and sustainable for people in the UK. Other apps that are gradually making a mark in the ride-sharing segment are DriveNow, Kyte, ZipCar, and many more.

Given the prosperous scenario and competitive scenario of the carpooling segment, a ride sharing app in UK comes as a perfect business opportunity. The applications are growing in popularity and are widely used for three main aspects:

  • Convenience
  • Pocket-friendly rides for daily commuting
  • Good for the environment

These facts make city mobility solutions more prevalent or ubiquitous while substantially reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions.

2. Plan the Design By Deciding On The App Features

Now, this is the most exciting step!

Your ride sharing app’s key goal is to provide maximum convenience to commuters while booking their rides and help them have a seamless travel experience.

Thus, determining the key features to incorporate in your app is a prime step of your carpooling app development process. Research the competitors’ apps in the market and discuss with your developers to finalise a list of must-have features to incorporate into your ride-sharing app.

While deciding the features, seek to integrate all the essential features that your closest competing apps have, like account registration, location tracking, online payment integration, ratings, and in-app chat.

While these are fundamental features for users, you must also decide the features for drivers and admins/app owners to help them have a seamless experience in receiving ride requests and managing their rides.

However, you can personalise your app’s functionality and integrate additional features such as:

  • Ride scoreboard
  • Carpool report
  • Automatic ride recommendations
  • Referral/invite and earn
  • Fare estimation
  • Multilanguage support

Once you convey the features that you want, your dedicated team of ride-sharing mobile app developers in London will work on the design and wireframe. Thus, make sure to choose a set of features after brainstorming and analysing your target audience or niche that will make your ride-sharing app development in London fruitful and out-of-the-box.

3. Choosing the Right Development Approach

You can seek carpooling or ride-hailing app development through any of the prevalent development approaches: native app development, hybrid app development, or cross-platform app development.

Native app development utilises platform-specific programming languages and will make your ride-sharing app native to the Android or iOS operating system.

On the other hand, the hybrid app development approach uses popular web-based languages such as CSS, JavaScript, and HTML for coding, and the app will be operable across all mobile platforms.

Contrary to both, cross-platform app development enables the use of reusable and web-based code, resulting in apps with more simple functionality that runs on web, Android, and iOS platforms.

To decide which of the three approaches is ideal for your ridesharing or taxi app development, be mindful to consider the quality, budget, developer expertise, and time to market.

The key here is to choose the approach that best aligns your expectations from the app with your user needs. To do so, you must understand the intended audience and use of the app.

A pro tip here: don’t choose a cross-platform app development approach if you want a robust and complicated app with multiple features. Cross-platform apps lag in user experience and performance, and hence, your ride-sharing app development might fail to make an impression on the market.

4. Technology Stack for Ride Sharing Apps

There are numerous technology stacks to consider for your on-demand transportation app development, making deciding on an appropriate stack challenging!

If you choose the native approach, Java and Kotlin are ideal technologies for Android apps, whereas Swift and Objective-C are programming languages for iOS platforms. If you opt for cross-platform app development, the robust technology stacks to use are React, Flutter, or Xamarin. Lastly, the hybrid approach requires developers to work with programming languages like JavaScript and HTML.

The big question is which technology stack is best for developing your London ride-sharing app. Of course, the answer depends on the development approach and the key features and complexities involved in the app.

Once you have finalized the must-have features for your urban transportation app development, consider the scalability, offline support, security, and development costs as requisite factors for determining the technology stack to use.

It is the step in which you need to involve an app development company in the UK. With expertise in widespread mobile app development across industries, they can suggest the technology stack necessary for your shared mobility app development according to the features, complexities, and budget for your ride sharing or commuter app development.

5. Designing User-friendly Interface

The platform’s user interface and user experience can make or break the success of your ride sharing app development in London. If you wish to keep your customers coming back to your ride-sharing app, you must ensure it has a smooth, intuitive workflow.

Hence, keep functionality, ease of use, and simplicity in mind when creating design prototypes and wireframes. Incorporate feedback loops and usability testing to refine the app’s design as more and more customers use it.

Also, remember that your app’s UI and UX will cater to customers, drivers and admins who will work on the app.

So, here are the best practices for designing interfaces for riders, drivers and administrators for ride sharing app development.

For passengers:

  • User-friendly sign-up portal
  • Integration of real-time tracking
  • Electronic payment gateways
  • Pop-up notifications to keep users updated
  • Hassle-free facility to cancel a ride
  • Chat/messaging facilities
  • Review/rating systems
  • User ride-booking systems

For drivers:

  • Driver-friendly registration process
  • Accept or reject a request
  • Built-in navigation for optimised directions
  • Integrated systems for receiving payments
  • Every rider’s trip information
  • Driver Dashboard
  • Rating systems
  • Easy communication with passengers

For administration:

  • Heat map analysis to understand where the ride’s demand is more
  • Driver and fleet management
  • Real-time analysis and reports
  • Rental package management
  • Promo-code management

6. Integrating Essential Functionalities

The foundational features you select for peer-to-peer transportation app development will primarily depend on your target audience and market research. These features should help you attract new customers while retaining existing ones.

If you look at the most popular ride-sharing apps of now, here are the core functionalities you will find familiar in all of them:

  • Status creation, tracking and changing to help users modify their destination or create a new route
  • GPS integration for real-time location tracking and mapping
  • Search options for customers to seek drivers and the route of the destination they are heading towards
  • Easy payment processing for cashless payment
  • Identity verification options for new logins, such as Captcha
  • A panic button to communicate safety issues and emergencies during the ride
  • Compatibility with various devices, like iOS and Android, for maximum usability,
  • Chat systems for seamless communications between the rider and the driver
  • An admin panel to ensure you can easily access information, handle accounts and troubleshoot issues
  • Recommendations based on the rider’s past data to ensure seamless ride booking for users going to the exact location regularly
  • Review and ranking systems to enable customers to share their experiences and complain about your city mobility solutions.
  • Social sign-in and sharing to allow users to share their ride’s info on social media platforms

7. Legal And Regulatory Considerations

Under the current laws in the UK, local authorities typically undertake the licensing process for private hire vehicles. It can lead to differences in licensing arrangements across the country.

Hence, if you are planning to develop a legitimate vehicle sharing platform, remember to thoroughly review the legal and regulatory requirements well in advance.

Collect all the critical licenses and permits from the government of your region, state, or country. Also, conduct criminal background checks on your drivers and other employees for passengers’ safety. Ensure every driver has insurance coverage for injuries, property damage and even death.

Besides the licensing laws, the UK also has regulations that specifically apply to applications, such as the PECR law. This law demands mobile apps get informed cookies from users before deploying cookies.

Similarly, during the vehicle-sharing platform development process, ensure the app and the company comply with transportation and data protection laws. To win customers’ trust, it’s also important to convey to them that your app is genuine and compliant. For that, ensure the app has transparent terms of service, user agreements, and privacy policies.

8. Testing And Quality Assurance

Rigorous testing and quality assurance are critical steps in the vehicle-sharing platform development process. It ensures your app doesn’t have functionality issues, lack any component of a trusted ride-sharing app or leave any room for cyber threats.

We recommend thoroughly conducting QA testing on the app’s UX, security and functionality. Before releasing the app, perform beta testing to gain information on potential improvement opportunities.

Most London-based ride-sharing startups hire quality assurance professionals or use user feedback, bug-tracking software, and crash-reporting services to ensure error and bug-free applications.

If you already have a team or the skill set to carry out the testing process, consider the following methods or strategies to test the app:

  • Manual testing
  • Beta testing
  • Automated testing
  • Usability testing
  • Load testing
  • Security testing

9. Launching And Marketing Your Ride Sharing App

Once you have successfully completed the ride-hailing app development and testing process, your next step should be to release and optimise the app for the App Store and Play Store.

Typically, the app optimization process involves listing the app in the app store, ensuring it complies with all the store’s terms and conditions, and improving its visibility.

To increase an app’s visibility, place relevant keywords in the app’s description and title, including high-quality videos and screenshots, regularly update the app to improve functionality and enable users to leave reviews and ratings.

After the successful launch of your London transportation technology, focus on marketing.

There are many ways to market your app, including online and offline strategies. For instance, you can start by employing an SEO strategy to improve the visibility of your app’s website. Integrating social media platforms within the app will help accelerate your campaigns.

In addition to these methods, we recommend investing in influencer marketing, paid ads and partnerships, email marketing and retention campaigns.

10. Post-launch Maintenance And Optimisation

You must have a comprehensive and adaptable maintenance and optimisation strategy to see your transportation network app development process bring worthy ROI.

Most iOS and Android apps require tech support after launching. Hence, ensure you always allocate a suitable budget for the work.

Also, to ensure your app’s potential issues don’t turn into costly malfunctions with a routine maintenance schedule.

A few strategies you can adapt for the maintenance and optimisation process of your app include:

  • Monitor and analyse user feedback: Pay close attention to what your customers say through social media, analytics, support tickets, and reviews. Use the feedback to detect areas for improvement, such as feature enhancement, interface tweaks, and bugs.
  • Optimise for speed and responsiveness: Optimize images to reduce load times, focus on high-quality formats with smaller file sizes, and remove unnecessary elements from your app’s code to enhance loading time. Additionally, ensure your app is responsive across all devices.
  • Regular updates and bug fixes: To maintain the performance of your transportation network app development, constantly update it, address bugs and ensure compatibility with the latest operating system updates.

Get Ready for Your Ride Sharing App Development!

There is no room for doubt that ride-sharing app development has enormous potential when people are looking for environment-friendly transportation to reduce fuel costs and contribute to environmental sustainability.

With this peer-to-peer transportation app development trend, urban transportation became more convenient while delivering a range of benefits, such as a substantial reduction in carbon emissions, reduced traffic congestion, and fostered networking among commutes to the same destination.

If you are willing to invest in this profitable idea of a London-based ride-sharing startup, the Webskitters team is here to assist you! We have a dedicated team of mobile app developers in London who will listen to your precise requirements and consider the crucial features to include in your transportation network app development.

Having more than ten years of experience, we are a pioneering website and app development company trusted by many businesses from diverse industries. Contact us today and hire the top 1% experts to work on your futuristic car sharing app development in the UK!