In: Consulting, Mobile App Development, Quick Tips

eHailing apps are digital platforms that allow users to book rides from their smartphones. By connecting passengers with nearby drivers, these apps provide a convenient and efficient way to travel within urban areas. In Malaysia, eHailing apps have gained popularity due to their ease of use, affordability, and ability to improve urban mobility solutions. 

Users can request a ride, track the driver’s location, and pay electronically, all within the app.

This blog will cover all the nitty-gritty of how eHailing apps are changing urban transportation forever.

We will also go over some primary examples and discuss how much it costs to develop an eHailing app in Malaysia. 

Types of eHailing Apps

Ride-Hailing Services: This is the most common type of eHailing app, connecting passengers with private drivers. Examples include Grab and MyCar in Malaysia. They offer various vehicle options such as economy, premium, and shared rides.

Taxi-Hailing Services: These apps allow users to book traditional taxis through a digital platform. By integrating with existing taxi networks, they provide the convenience of app-based booking while utilizing licensed taxi services.

Bike-Hailing Services: In densely populated urban areas, bike-hailing apps offer a quick and affordable alternative for short-distance travel. These services connect users with motorbike riders, helping to navigate through traffic more efficiently.

History of eHailing Apps

The concept of eHailing took off with Uber’s debut in 2008 in San Francisco. Founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp after a frustrating experience trying to find a taxi in Paris, Uber aimed to make transportation as simple as pressing a button on a smartphone. 

By 2011, Uber expanded to New York and later achieved international recognition in Paris, marking the start of its global expansion into India, Africa, and China.

Lyft, Uber’s primary competitor in the United States, also started in San Francisco in 2012. Aiming to improve public transportation, Lyft expanded to New York by 2015 and now operates in over 600 cities across the United States and Canada.

In China, DiDi was founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei as a taxi booking service. DiDi became the market leader in China after acquiring Uber’s local operations in 2016. Beyond China, DiDi expanded into the Americas, including Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile, and also operates in Australia and Japan.

Growing Market and Upcoming Disruption

Uber currently dominates the global eHailing market with a 25% market share, generating $20 billion in revenue in 2023. DiDi follows with $18 billion, primarily from the Chinese market, and Lyft, despite its limited geographic presence, earned $4.4 billion in the same year.

According to a report, the global shared mobility market is projected to grow significantly, increasing from $243.47 billion in 2023 to $519.67 billion by 2030, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.44%. 

This projection is considered conservative; however, with the increasing demand for self-driving taxis, the market could grow at a higher rate. 

The rising penetration of smartphones and connected vehicles has significantly boosted the growth of the eHailing market.

Governments in the US and Europe are encouraging the use of shared mobility to address traffic and greenhouse gas emissions issues. The high cost of vehicle ownership is pushing people towards more cost-effective transportation options. Additionally, factors such as increasing road traffic, high fuel costs, and decreasing parking spaces further contribute to the growth of the shared mobility market in the coming years.

However, certain factors are restraining the growth of the eHailing market. 

These include 

  • Individuals’ reluctance to share their vehicles with strangers. 
  • Low network infrastructure and poor internet connectivity 
  • Less awareness in certain areas and limited publicity

With the increasing penetration of autonomous vehicles and vehicle electrification, there is a high potential for new revenue streams from eHailing services for automakers. It is projected that the new revenue from eHailing could reach $1.5 to $2.0 trillion by 2030, assuming ride-sharing companies continue to make significant investments and start generating profits annually.

This growth in shared mobility is closely linked to the expansion of mobile app development, as these platforms rely heavily on advanced apps to provide seamless services to users. The continued innovation and improvement in mobile app technology will play a crucial role in shaping the future of eHailing and urban mobility solutions.

Top eHailing Apps and How They Are Transforming Transformation 

eHailing apps have significantly impacted urban mobility by offering convenient, efficient, and innovative transportation solutions. This section explores some of the top eHailing apps and their transformative effects- 

1. Uber

Uber, launched in 2008, revolutionized the eHailing industry by introducing a user-friendly app that connects passengers with drivers. It has expanded globally, operating in over 900 metropolitan areas worldwide. Uber’s innovations include dynamic pricing, ride-sharing options like UberPOOL, and integration with public transportation systems. By continuously enhancing its app’s features, Uber has become a cornerstone of urban mobility solutions.

2. Grab

Grab is the leading eHailing service in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia. It offers a wide range of services beyond ride-hailing, such as food delivery (GrabFood), package delivery (GrabExpress), and financial services (GrabPay). Grab has played a pivotal role in transforming urban transportation by providing comprehensive solutions tailored to local needs. Its super app model integrates various services, making it a vital part of everyday urban life in Malaysia​.

3. DiDi

DiDi Chuxing dominates the Chinese eHailing market and has expanded to Latin America and Australia. DiDi offers diverse services, including DiDi Premier for luxury rides, DiDi Express for budget-friendly options, and even autonomous vehicle trials. By leveraging advanced technologies and extensive data analytics, DiDi enhances safety and efficiency, contributing to the broader adoption of eHailing Apps in Malaysia and other regions​. 

4. Lyft

Lyft, Uber’s main competitor in the United States, is known for its user-friendly app and strong community focus. Lyft provides various ride options, including shared rides, luxury vehicles, and bike rentals through Lyft Bikes and Scooters. Its commitment to sustainability and partnerships with local governments for integrated transit solutions exemplify how urban mobility solutions can evolve through effective collaboration and innovation​.

5. Ola

Ola, based in India, has grown rapidly to serve over 250 cities globally. It offers multiple ride options, from economical to luxury, and includes services like Ola Auto (auto-rickshaws) and Ola Bike (bike taxis). Ola’s innovative features, such as Ola Money for cashless transactions and Ola Play for in-car entertainment, also demonstrate the massive potential of mobile app development to enhance user experience and convenience​ 

6. Careem

Careem, a dominant player in the Middle East, was acquired by Uber in 2019 but continues to operate independently. It offers a wide array of services, including ride-hailing, food delivery, and bike rentals, making it a comprehensive urban mobility platform. Careem’s success lies in its adaptability to local market needs and its robust safety features, setting a benchmark for eHailing Apps in Malaysia and other emerging markets​.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an eHailing App?

The cost of developing an eHailing app like Uber or Grab varies widely based on several factors, including the complexity of the app, the number of features, and the location of the development team. Here’s a breakdown of the key components and their estimated costs:

  • Basic Features: A standard eHailing app includes user registration, ride booking, real-time tracking, fare calculation, payment gateway integration, and rating/review systems. The development cost for these features typically ranges from $30,000 to $120,000​.
  • Platform Choice: Developing for both iOS and Android increases the cost compared to developing for a single platform. Additionally, creating native apps (specific to a platform) is more expensive than hybrid apps. 
  • Geographic Scope and Localization: Expanding the app to multiple cities or countries involves integrating local maps, complying with regional regulations, and supporting various payment methods, which can add to the cost.
  • Design and User Experience: A user-friendly and visually appealing interface is crucial. Investing in high-quality UI/UX design can range from $3,000 to $20,000, depending on the complexity and customization required​.
  • Maintenance and Updates: Post-launch, expect to spend an additional 15-20% of the initial development cost annually on maintenance and updates​. 

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The future of eHailing apps is incredibly exciting. These digital platforms have already changed how we move around cities, making transportation more convenient and efficient. With the continued growth of eHailing Apps in Malaysia and worldwide, we can expect even more innovative solutions that improve our daily commutes.

Stay tuned for more updates and insights by reading our other blogs. And if you’re thinking about creating your own web or mobile app, reach out to Segwitz

We’re here to help you bring your ideas to life with expert development and support. Contact us today!