Taxi Booking App Development Case Study: RedRoute
RedRoute is on a mission to help people make the most of their free time, by connecting them to the people and places that matter most to them, in any given moment. RedRoute designed a revolutionary software suite for taxi services that streamlines daily dispatcher activities, as well as provides drivers and customers with tools for convenient interactions, including ride requests, payments, and real-time driver tracking.
While the overall idea is not new, RedRoute distinguishes itself by servicing unique markets and working with existing transportation providers. Lack of technology in these unique markets allows RedRoute to easily attract eager customers. The RedRoute system comprises three pieces of software, united in a single system: a native tablet-optimized Android app for drivers, a dispatch panel, and a native iOS app available to all customers.
The RedRoute request process is extremely simple: a customer requests a ride from the RedRoute mobile app, dispatchers receive this ride in the dispatcher web panel and assign it to a driver, the driver receives ride details on their Android tablet. Once the customer reaches their desired location, they are able to easily pay for the ride through the customer app.
What made the project even more interesting and challenging was its short timespan. We started development in May 2016 and needed to have a production-ready version by early August 2016 for the start of the academic year. This obligatory condition allowed our team to show their skills, responsiveness, and diligence.
How to develop an app for cab booking
A bootstrapped version of the system had already been launched, before the clients approached us and provided us with all available documentation and code for the bootstrapped version. Although we decided to scrap the previous system, it served as a prototype that helped us understand the scope of the project much better.
We communicated regularly and effectively. During extremely busy parts of the development cycle we tried to have multiple extensive calls during the week complimented with regular Skype chats. Agile software development methodology was essential in implementing new ideas, while meeting the short deadline. It's worth noting that our clients contributed a considerable amount of effort into testing the system. Jira allowed us to efficiently process bugs and manage tasks. Our clients were represented by a number of decision-makers, but well-organized and productive approach prevented any delays of vital decisions, even during the busiest development stages.
Integrated approach to mobile and web application development
Real-time client-server communication became the key feature of the entire project from the very start. Another challenge was to get identical states of rides for all sub-applications: Customer, Driver and Dispatcher. Therefore, all communication between apps was designed to be transmitted through the backend, which stores actual ride states. The applications can send requests via HTTP to the backend only; and only the backend can notify the apps through 2 channels: PubNub (for cases when the app is opened) and APNS (when it is closed).
While the app designs were virtually ready and required minor improvements, the dispatch panel was designed by our team and incorporated a lot of our ideas. Being the locus of operations, the panel had to automate the crucial activities and work seamlessly with the apps.
The most challenging task was to bring all the pieces of the puzzle. We had to implement the backend and three apps without an opportunity to test their interactions. This is where the magic of our teamwork started to show. The backend was the major part of the job, so our clients decided to have 2 developers work on it at the same time. Each of the three applications had separate sub-application and 3 different APIs, so we could work on the client side simultaneously and conduct releases independently.
After another busy period of launching and testing the RedRoute system in production, it finally went live in mid-August, just as our clients planned.
Features of the application
The following features represent the iOS app for customers:
• Ride requests
• Real-time map with routes, pickup and dropoff locations, and current locations of drivers
• Direct phone calls
• Registration of a bank card for quick payments; cash is used otherwise
• Upvoting/downvoting drivers (as feedback)
The following technologies represent the iOS app for customers:
• Integration with RESTful API
• Braintree Payment Services
• PubNub and APNS for real-time notifications
• Google Maps
• Google Places API
Results and achievements
This is a great example of inspired teamwork that managed to build a working system under strict deadlines and develop the elements of this system independently, with mobile app development being a vital part.
We appreciated the involvement of our clients. It was crucial for the project and its deadlines, and our mutual efforts resulted in a product that we are proud of.
The customer app for iOS had 1200 unique users within 2 weeks after the release. The RedRoute system will evolve further, and the team is already working on some of the new ideas.
The Client's appreciation
RedRoute сo-founder, COO
"We appreciate the team being very proactive in assuring that the technology was ready to go for launch. Roman was great to work with! His understanding and years of experience of software development is evident in his work. Eugene was very easy to work with, clear, and prompt. He invests himself in his work and the final product is representative of this. Andrey was great. He was prompt, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. Finally, working with Alex, Anton and Kostya was a pleasant experience. MobiDev has really shown us their dedication. Thank You!"
Update: Here is a new video testimonial by RedRoute co-founders: COO Brian Schiff and CEO Samuel Krut. Be sure to check it out!
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