How Much Does It Cost to Create a Navigation App Like Waze?

How Much Does It Cost to Create a Navigation App Like Waze?

Today the capabilities of smartphones and mobile devices are probably enough to survive in the middle of nowhere.

Well, at least they can show you where you are and how to get to the nearest Walmart. That is why the navigation apps are so popular. With such app, you can find your way in an unknown city, create a route avoiding a traffic jam or help other users with navigation.

According to Gartner statistic, travel and navigation category is one of the fastest growing. The survey is based on year-on-year growth of time that users spent on apps in 2015, and this indicator reached 54% TNS research studied users drivers for installing navigation and location-based apps at their smartphones and here is the result:

So, if you are thinking of navigation app development, you probably made a right business choice. In this article, I am going to guide you through features and niceties of one of the market leaders Waze app.

Get the best route with Waze

Waze is a second most popular navigation app after Google Maps. The Funny thing is that Google acquired Waze in 2013. By that time it already had over 40 million registered users, who shared about 30 million reports only in the U.S.

Basically, Waze is a full-featured navigation app. But it also has a unique crowd-sourced component. Drivers that are using Waze report about accidents and other hazards, mark on the map road closures and repairs and so on. They also can add a photo to their note. The interface is very handy and intuitive.

The other drivers show red lines on the map that indicates the dense traffic and suggest rerouting the user to an alternative path. You can also send the information right from the app to notify your friends that you are going to be late due to the traffic:

The search function is also worth mentioning. It works both with places and addresses and gives recommendations based on your previous entries.

Special Features

I can underline some undoubted advantages of the Waze app:

  1. User-friendly interface

    The interface is quite intuitive. Cute drawn icons bring even more fun in usage experience. The whole process of navigation and reporting is handy, and it doesn`t take a lot of time to understand it and become a hard user.

  2. Real-time updates

    Waze is perfect for watching real-time traffic updates. Due to its crowdsource, component users on the road regularly refresh the information. Another advantage of the service is an operatively rerouting.

  3. Add-ons

    Waze is focused more on car owners and those who drive cars compared to Google Maps that give various other options for public transport, bikes, and walks.

    One of the best Waze`s add-ons is a feature of police alerts tracking.

    Also, the app integrates with Facebook and Foursquare so that users can see their fiend’s check-ins nearby.

    In 2015 they also implemented an Amber alert feature that starts to work if the driver passes down the area of abduction. Alert is available only when the car is staying at one place longer than 10 seconds.

  4. Carpool service

    At the beginning of 2016 Waze has expanded its ride-sharing ambitions with carpool service called Waze Rider. The service learns most frequent routes of drivers and matches up these people with others looking for a car in the same direction.

    Thus drivers don`t get paid as it is common in Uber or Lyft but get a small fee to cover gas expenses.

  5. Planned Drive

    The other brilliant idea is a Planned Drive feature. It recommends the best time to start a trip once you have entered the desirable time and date. All Planned Drives can be added to calendars, sent to e-mails and shared on Facebook if needed.

    This feature can be implemented with machine learning technology.

  6. Waze transport SDK

    Creating an own SDK is not the main feature when you decide to develop a navigation app like Waze. But apparently, guys have enough ambitions and resources to expand the sphere of influence. Half of dozen companies are already included this software to provide routing and guidance in their services. Among them are Lyft, JustPark Parking, Cabify, 99Taxis, and Cornershop.

How Does Waze Make Money

If you intend to make a traffic app, you probably were thinking about the monetization model of such kind of business. Regarding Waze, the largest amount of revenue they get from the location-based advertising. This service was launched in October 2012 and earned a bit less than $1 million till the end of the year.

The advertiser is usually a small business that puts a business on the Waze map and decides how much to spend monthly. When the drivers are approaching the location or searching nearby, they can see an ad.

The main feature of Waze`s ad is that the program knows not only location but also a destination of the user. Such approach allows showing relevant ads along the roads towards a destination.

How much does it cost to develop an app like Waze?

So, if you have decided to work on a Waze app clone, it is crucial to estimate basic expenses and set up the workflow. We usually recommend choosing native app development, which means the separate application for every operating system.

This allows to achieve better app performance, provide user`s data security and have better access to inbuilt smartphone options such as accelerometer and GPS-tracker.

The other choice that can help you to master wisely your navigation app development cost is building MVP or Minimum Viable Product. Start creating your app only with essential functionality, don`t try to implement your idea and all killer features before the first release. The more important right now is to deliver the product before competitors, test your idea and start to conquer the audience.

Here is the list of essential features that form the basic cost to build a navigation app:

  1. Login and profiles

    For a Waze app clone, this feature is quite important due to the fact of publicity and openness. Other drivers will likely believe in the reviews if the see real people behind them. The easiest way is to provide registration and authorization via existing social media profile. It can take about 8-10 hours of your developers’ time for each operating system.

  2. GPS & Geolocation

    Basically, the generatrix feature for your navigation app. To implement it developers usually use Google Maps SDK as well as iOS framework MapKit for Apple apps and Android framework location APIs. It takes about 32 hours for geolocation and more 35 to create a ride feature.

    You may also think to implement the Estimated time of arrival (ETA) option.

  3. Turn-by-turn voice instructions

    There is a perfect solution for this feature, especially of you are thinking about starting with MVP. The Google Maps Directions API returns a list of turn-by-turn instructions and provides human-readable notification.

    There is an important note, though. After the first 2500 request from your app per day, it started to be paid.

The average price for the app like this starts from $25-30 thousand. It includes the work of developers, QA-professionals, and UI/UX designers.


Of course, the question “How to create a GPS navigation app for Android or iOS” is more complicated. First of all, there might be your unique features that can add a price.

From the other hand, there are a lot of non-obvious issues like security or legislation that should be taken into account. You can call us and ask for free 2 hours consultation with our business analyst. He can help you to analyze your idea and business prospects and give a more detailed estimation.

And worry about your idea. We protect your intellectual property by signing a non-disclosure agreement.

  • Steven Smith

    Hi There, Steven here from SpotnRides.

    If you are planning to develop navigiation app like Google Maps or Waze, depending on where you are, an average cost for developing your navigation app would range from $30,000 to $40,000.

    You need to think before developing it. Because you need to compete with 2 industry legends.

    Hope this info helps.


  • williamhudson

    Hi Its a Nice Article About the Navigation App , As a Developer An App Like Grab Clone Can be used for the traveling and All Aspects

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