Somewhere in Bavaria, internal combustion engine automobiles might have made their first appearance a little less than a century and a half ago. Just like any other new invention, it was a craze for a considerable amount of time and the craze intensified when improvements were made to the design, performance, and elements of luxury.
However, the curve flattened over a period of time, and people, especially millennials, have realized that irrespective of the car, the brand, and everything else, all that is beneficial in the end is that it takes you from one point to another. Cars have quite a lot of costs associated with them in terms of insurance, maintenance, body part wear and tear, externals, and above everything, investing time and effort in learning the art of driving and getting a driver’s license.
What if there was an option to extract the utility of transportation without possessing the entity that is purported to give that power? What is essentially the need to own a car when there are transportation services that can give you the same service?
This was the question a lot of Millennials had in mind, and the number of Millennials applying for a drivers license in the United States has drastically dropped and they do not any longer consider it to be a customary act upon passing the age of 18. Has the need for transportation vanished? It is both yes and no.
People had given up on the idea of owning cars but parallel to this, the concept of ride-hailing and ride sharing app development started to gain prominence, and driven by technology and the world of mobile applications coming today, it stands tall as one of the most preferred methods for transportation.
What is ride-hailing and ride sharing?
Ride-hailing basically means that you use transportation as a service. You do not own the car but you avail of the services of a car owner who has explicitly indicated through a platform that their car is available for comment users like you to use for their transportation needs, and they will drive you from a location to another for a fixed cost. The cost will be contingent upon factors like traffic, demand, and the car.
Ridesharing is not essentially a subset of ride-hailing but it does have a little bit of intersection. Ridesharing is the concept of opening the empty seats of your car for people who travel on the same route as yours effectively reducing your fuel expenses and making their ride better. It does not mean business or profit for the person who offers the ride. This is one of the latest manifestations of the gig economy.
Technology has played a major role in bridging one of the biggest gaps that connected ridesharing with practicality – finding the person who needs transportation and connecting them with the person who provides transportation. Apps like Uber have solved this problem by bringing in the awesomeness of GPS, mapping, and navigation.
The astounding numbers
The ridesharing market is expected to grow at a 20% CAGR and if the growth continues at this rate, the market value of the ride-sharing industry is expected to reach a staggering $220 billion by 2025.
Interestingly, in spite of such huge numbers, the market only contributed to 1% of the total vehicle miles traveled in the United States in 2016. It might not be the same right now but it only goes on to prove that the market is quite wide and open, and there is still a lot of room for new players to not only enter but also to find success.
About 25% of the people in the US use a ridesharing service at least once a month. This is normalized data and the frequency of use me very upon demographics, geography, individual needs and circumstances that demand transportation. However, cumulatively, it cannot be denied that this number is true and is only set to grow.
The fuelling factors… Literally
The ride sharing market did not boom all of a sudden like the.com or the bitcoin boom. There are a lot of factors that contributed to the growth of the ridesharing industry.
Fuel costs have been steadily increasing and since most of the cars run on fossil fuels, it cannot be expected to drop any time in the future – after all, oil belongs to the robber economy. Therefore, considering the cost associated with fueling the vehicle and maintaining the vehicle, people across the USA have embraced the new dimension of transportation that costs less and does not demand commitments.
Maybe the demand for ride sharing was always there and maybe the world would have embraced this new lifestyle earlier but there was no way to connect the demand and supply. This has been, however, taken care of effectively by today’s smartphones. They bring the advantages of portability, economical pricing, and an interactive interface that has contributed to the penetration of mobile devices in every corner of the world including growing economies like Africa and India. What was a complicated telephone call and cumbersome coordination has now been reduced to a few clicks on the screen of the smartphone!
The only direction of deterrence is from the perspective of the safety of passengers. The factor of risk has always been there but it is just that the numbers have multiplied so intensely and professionally, so has the risk. Companies like Uber have faced criminal charges because of the miss behaviour of their drivers. Although a lot of taxi app companies include meticulous process to screen their drivers of their records, there are still some malicious drivers who escape the sift.
On a minor note, there have been instances of drivers being treated differently by different cab companies and there have been complaints about cab companies not taking into consideration factors like traffic and road conditions. The cab fare calculation isn’t perfect but it is surely progressing towards an all-encompassing method that is perfectly agreeable to both passengers and drivers.
As abnormal as it may sound, self-driving cars are the order of the future. It might seem straight out of a horror flick from the 1960’s but it cannot be denied that the younger population between the ages 18 and 24 prefer to ride on a driver less car to ride with an unknown human being! Platforms like Uber have already tested the possibility. While it might not have met with commercial success, it surely served as a demonstrator for the new technology. With the involvement of companies like Google, Apple, and of course, Tesla, self-driving cars can surely become mainstream.
Today, the greatest challenge when it comes to self-driving cars is the dependence on visual input. Sometimes, it is too sudden for the sensors and the computers to process it. Once the location of other self-driving cars is made available through satellite systems and GPS, it is quite possible that self-driving cars can be all over the road without any accidents!
Ride sharing has only gone to prove that in the end, it is not the surface factors but the core utility alone that will triumph! However, improving this philosophical truth, ride sharing and ride-hailing have also opened up new Business avenues for developing ride sharing apps.
It might be a hassle to create the app from scratch but why do we have to reinvent the wheel anyway? Using white-label Uber clone app can help you get the basic framework of your ride-sharing app. You can customize it according to your business requirements and you are all set to rule the business and rule the roads!