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Understanding the technology stack behind on demands taxi solutions

Demand drives the supply chain and the service industry. The demand-supply ratio is exemplary to the world economy and deciding factor behind the price point of a service or product. Every product sold and service offered is an outcome of its demand.

The same goes for the taxi industry. Demand for taxis is created because people want to go to from one place to another. If demand is the case everywhere, what exactly qualifies as an on-demand taxi solution.

In the most layman’s term, if you can improve the quality of an existing service to a degree that you can offer it on demand, it becomes an on-demand service. In case of taxis, if you have the necessary blend of resource, infrastructure, accessibility and technology, you indeed can offer this service.

So every on-demand mobility solution needs technology stack to operate under in the following categories:

Geo Location: Location services are fundamental to the working of any on-demand taxi app. From the app picking up your location and sharing it as the pickup location to the driver to letting a customer know of the driver’s whereabout in real-time on a map, on-demand services can’t be realised without location technology.

Geolocation is indeed the most important technology in Uber’s technology stack. But you might be interested in other functionalities as well if you want to know how to build an app like Uber.

Notification

An on-demand taxi solution sends notification to the passenger and driver in various mediums: Push Notification Services, SMS, and Email.

You receive the following notifications during an on-demand taxi order:

Push and text notifications

Text notifications are required along with push notifications as the latter don’t work if device goes offline in the midst of the operation. Moreover, the Apple Push Notification Service queues notifications in a way that notification received when the device was offline will not be delivered when it comes online.

There is no way for a developer to know whether the notification was delivered or not in the case of Apple Push Notification Service, which isn’t the case with Google Notifications.

Notifications that apps in an on-demand taxi solution receives are

  • Driver: Accept or decline ride
  • Rider: Ride Accepted
  • Rider: Ride Canceled
  • Rider: Ride Arriving
  • Rider: Surge Pricing Over*
  • Raider: Fare updated*

This is how different platforms provision push notifications.

SMS notifications:

Twilio is a marker leader. But there are many effective options too that cost less and provide better support.

Inter-app communication

The apps in the solution, the driver and rider’s app, need to communicate with each other at many instances, without which the entire solution will collapse to ashes. A large part of the communication takes place on the cloud and a passenger can still hail a taxi even if he goes offline after he books a taxi.

However, the driver must stay online all the time as the passenger app tracks his live location on an interactive app on the app and instantaneous location is shared over a data or Wi-Fi connection.

This is when the two apps communicate and make who operation possible:

  • Send booking request to drivers
  • Live Location Driver app’s to passenger’s
  • Pick up and drop off location (Passenger to Driver app)
  • Chat between driver and passenger’s app
  • Cancellation (either ways)

Inter-app communication between the drivers’ and passengers’ app takes place over mobile data communication or Wi-Fi. The data exchange is often routed over the application server. The data could be encrypted or not. Enterprises demand end-to-end encryption.

Payment

Although on-demand taxi apps insist on a cashless payment system over a payment gateway, these services, when targeted towards a geography where cashless payments are still in nascent state, have started to include cash payments options. Also, split fare is a feature that has lately become a standard across taxi booking apps.

Payment gateway

Braintree is one of the leaders in the mobile payment market to accept card payments and boasts Uber as its clients. Another great payment system, a competitor of Braintree, and a payment gateway preferred in our custom taxi app development services, Stripe provides its payment services to fast-moving on-demand economy startups: Lyft, Postmates and Instacart.

PayPal’s Card.io lets you enter your credit card details by simply scanning the credit card with your phone’s camera. The functionality is available for both iOS and Android apps.

Split fare is a default option in Braintree and Stripe

Infrastructure and storage

Web and mobile

Web

Mobile

Mobile development is 100% trunk development and train releases. You can use Git for software storage. Mobile app developers must commit directly to master. So many people branching and landing causes too much risk. Work on an application configuration platform that’s calm to work with and build on top of, empowering stakeholders to bring change in your taxi businesses’ services and businesses.