Dozens of ride-hailing startups make their ways into the market every year. Although only a few of them manage to survive for over a couple of years, yet the competition is still getting tougher. Some essential features are unmistakable while others are complementing the existing features of a ride-hailing app. However, the fierce competition demands proactive approach to add even more innovative features which enable you to outperform the rivals.
This article suggests five features whose adoption is going to be crucial for ride-hailing companies in the upcoming times. Three of these options are already being tested by ride-hailing giants like Uber.
If you own a ride-hailing business, there is a good chance that you might want to introduce another on-demand startup as well in the future. It is advisable to offer various services from same app to prevent customers from multiple-app overheads.
Uber initially offered ride hailing app but started Uber Eats as a subsidiary. The two business models work independently in their respective domains. Each model has its own ride hailing apps to serve customers and drivers.
However, Uber’s recent stint involves offering a range of previously independent services from primary Uber app. In essence, customers can now order food via Uber app originally meant for ride-hailing. This update received decent reception from customers who have lesser apps to manage. Uber successfully experimented mergers of its businesses in the past too.
Apart from facilitating customers by providing all services through a single app, Uber is also starting to expand its subscription offers. With its first such subscription package, Uber offers free food delivery and jump scooter rides apart from discounted rides on other ride-hailing options.
Lite Ride Hailing App
As the competition between ride-hailing businesses is heating up, lite versions of apps are becoming essential. Research at Think With Google reveals that exhausting phone memory is the most frequent reason for users to delete an app. The study also noted same results for rideshare apps.
A lite app is a variant of the original app consuming markedly lesser memory than the original version. For instance, Uber Lite consumes 5MB space on Android devices whereas original Uber app takes 180MB. In all, lite variants of ride-hailing apps offer following benefits.
- It consumes roughly 36 times lesser memory considering Uber for Android.
- Lite apps are compatible with older Android devices.
- Processing speed of lite apps is faster on older devices.
However, lite apps provide only a limited functionality as compared to the regular apps. Still, it fulfills the essential needs of passengers. For instance, it provides a simple interface to book ride. Although the map for tracking drivers does not update in real time as in the case of regular app, yet it updates every 10 seconds or less.
Besides, Uber Lite does not offer feature to change pickup location once added. While it offers communication through phone call, the feature for chat is absent. Nevertheless, feature for change of pickup point can be easily added during ride-hailing app development or later without costing a significant change in size of app.
PIN for public places
Both Lyft and Uber are testing a new feature which is aimed at reducing the wait time at airports or, for that matter, all public places. Instead of usual procedure where a passenger requests the ride and one of the nearest drivers accepts it, this ride-hailing app feature allows passengers to schedule the first available ride in queue at airport.
The passenger shares unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) with the first available driver who then enters the PIN into s/he’s app. This way the two parties connect. Rest of the procedure is as usual.
The feature enables rideshare services to serve passengers at airport in markedly lesser time as the vehicles are already available in queue.
Besides, it would save costs and time of drivers as well who often have to travel miles before reaching the location of passenger. PIN feature is a win-win-win for ride-hailing service providers, drivers, and passengers.
Uber for Healthcare
Ambulances serve as the de facto standard for decades to drive patients to healthcare centers. The cost of ambulance includes patient care staff and healthcare equipment apart from the ride itself.
However, research indicates that most of the cases where an ambulance services are sought do not pose a serious threat to patient’s life. Moreover, the statistics from the US urban areas reveal that time consumed by Uber is half of what an ambulance takes on average.
Regardless of the knowledge about these statistics, urban residents are more inclined toward calling an Uber instead of an ambulance. One academic study supports this claim. It confirms 7% reduction in per capita ambulance seeking volume since advent of UberX. The significantly smaller costs and time consumption of ride-hailing services explain this shift.
Considering the number of people seeking ride-hailing services to transport patients, it would be appropriate to keep a specific section in ride-hailing apps. Although you do not need to keep dedicated drivers to serve such ride requests, yet the driver would be in knowledge that the scheduled rider is a patient. The dispatch bot system for medical transportation software is essentially the same as that for ride-hailing systems.
Cryptocurrency for Ride Hailing Companies
The ride-hailing companies until now – and up to some point in future – are using centralized payment approach. In essence, they use services of third party payment gateway providers. These gateways include credit cards from banks and other online payment systems like PayPal and Stripe. Using this approach, they need to pay a percentage of earning to service providers.
However, they can prevent a share of gateway providers by incorporating decentralized payment approach for your business. Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin offers the most effective decentralized method for ride-hailing apps. The giants in ride-hailing industry including Uber, Lyft, and Via in the US and those elsewhere are planning to introduce Blockchain-based payment.
The adoption of this approach would be a paradigm shift but undeniably challenging. Ride-hailing consumers are using traditional centralized method for over a decade. Thus, the challenge involves encouraging and enabling them to use the service seamlessly.
An effective approach to achieve this feat would be keeping the existing methods while offering payment through cryptocurrency in parallel so that people can use traditional payment scheme as well while they learn the new one.
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