Taxi booking smart phone app for cab operators

The traditional way of doing business is almost over in all the areas of business, especially so in the taxi services. So, emerged taxi booking smart phone app. Over the past two or three years, life for traditional taxi services has become miserable. Competition is intense and customer loyalty is almost non-existent. Cheaper transport providers are also stepping in adding to the woes. Uber-like taxi booking apps are taking the market away from traditional taxi services making a world of difference for taxi services. The reality is that Uber-like taxi services are here to stay.

Whether already in taxi business or contemplating to step in, the only clearer thing in this murky business is the need of an independent taxi booking smart phone app.

There are several types of cab booking apps on the market. One type is especially tailor made to suit established taxi businesses with own cars and drivers. For such businesses an app is a mobile extension of their service. Taxi booking smart phone app is a complement to their existing service, a taxi company can make it easier for customers to book a ride while also it helps expand their client base. A taxi app can make life easier for drivers as well.

App for the company

The HeartLimo cab company provides a luxurious limousine service to their clients in California. Through its app riders can select from a list of pre-programmed destinations or input an address themselves, pay the service’s hourly rental fee, and select the type of car they would like. The special feature of tTaxi booking smart phone appe app is its ability to track the customer’s booking history and offering credit and cash payment options.

This type of taxi booking smart phone app needs servers to handle multiple user requests and make sure taxis are delivered to the current user location in the shortest possible time.

A taxi booking smart phone app as an independent booking service

The other way around is developing an app as the one used by Uber, this is just a complex booking service

The simpler solution for a taxi booking app

This is a mobile app for customers. There is a list of cab services along with prices and the ability to call and order a cab directly from the app. There might be a map with destination points and an approximate calculation of the price of the ride according to given service prices and mileage. Requires a publish subscribe server in the cloud

Complex taxi booking app like Uber

This app warrants back end as well as front end meaning the requirement of  servers. This business have to establish partnerships with taxi companies or individuals and offer them an app with two discrete interfaces — one for taxi riders, the other for taxi drivers.

In this app there is an extensive use of GPS, a server identifies the current location of a user in need of a taxi and notifies the nearest driver. To have up-to-date information about the location of a customer, the app can send requests to the server every hour, every 5 minutes, every second… with whatever frequency as required. This is how you build a taxi app like Uber briefly.

With taxi app development, technology is important. Uber is a success story because it attacked a vulnerable market by offering a service, incorporated in a mobile app, that was customer-focused. Unlike traditional taxi services, Uber was way better at three things that people really appreciate: convenience, reliability, and professionalism.

The following technological factors have made Uber like taxi booking a big success:

Location tracking

Uber tracks location all the time, even when the app is not used, in background, which helps Uber find the nearest driver within seconds. It displays a countdown once a taxi has been ordered, it does so until the driver arrives. It makes passengers not to worry about a taxi not showing up, which sometimes happens with traditional taxi services.

If you also want your app to track a rider’s location while running in the background, the permission of riders to share data must be obtained before hand.

Built-in maps and traffic data

The quality of the navigation experience in an Uber-like app can be a tipping point for drivers deciding which service to drive for. To get drivers from point A to point B, Uber uses a variety of maps. The main source of location data for Uber is Google Maps, they also have their own mapping assets thanks to their acquisition of Microsoft’s Bing mapping and startup deCarta.

Since Uber operates globally, navigation is taken seriously. For small companies iOS taxi app development provides Apple’s MapKit framework to embed a fully functional map interface into your taxi app. One can use Google Maps or Mapbox although there is nothing to beat Google Maps anyway?

Fare calculation

When people hear the phrase “taxi price calculation,” they tend to imagine a meter mounted to a car’s dashboard. However, most cab booking apps don’t operate that way.

Calculation of the fare using 4 components:

Base fare – a flat fee for an Uber ride; this value depends on the area and the Uber category
Cost per minute
Cost per mile

Booking fee (formerly known as the ‘Safe Rides Fee’) – a flat fee that covers ‘operational costs’ such as driver background checks.

The cost per mile is calculated with the help of GPS — according to the mileage of the customer’s route and your company’s price list. The price of the ride needs to be submitted to the user before the car arrives.

Payment system integration

Taxi booking smart phone app should have automated payments portals. There must also be cash payment option. With a cash option, it’s important to make sure a client doesn’t change his or her mind and cancel the taxi when it arrives. To avoid this, you could place a security charge on a user’s card (if they have a credit card of course). This is essentially a transaction, but the money is returned to the user’s card once the service is rendered and cash has been paid. The app can also use Braintree to accept and manage online mobile payments.And possibly Paytm or soon in India UPI

Rating system

Taxi booking smart phone app is perceived to be more reliable than traditional taxi services. Reliability means by giving both riders and drivers more information than traditional taxi services both before and during the ride, and by implementing a rating system in the app.

Put simply, a rating system should be on your taxi app design agenda.

Driver-focused features

While competing for customers is a huge challenge for new ride-hailing services, the competition for drivers might be even fiercer. Taxi companies often compete for the same pool of drivers. New features like ability to charge passengers for being two minutes late for a ride or the infamous Uber surge pricing does help.

 

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Narayan

With bachelor's and masters in engineering and technology I try my best to be ahead in engineering the mobile ecosystem!

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