With the Lucid Air finally rolling over the production line, Lucid is opening up about what the Air will be able to do. DreamDrive is the name of the automaker’s emerging driver assistance technology platform that delivers the batch convenience features expected from any luxury EV. Up to 32 sensors enable DreamDrive’s capabilities: 14 visible-light cameras; four surround view cameras; one long-range radar unit; four short-range radar units; a solid-state, ultra-wide-view lidar unit; and ultrasonic sensors forming a perimeter.
The “until” qualifier separates DreamDrive from DreamDrive Pro, the latter coming standard on the Air’s $169,000 Dream Edition and $139,000 Grand Touring trims, and optional elsewhere. Pro gets more hardware and software, including that lidar. Each DreamDrive installation includes four processors in the corners of the sedan, connected via gigabit-per-second Ethernet to turn abundant detection potential into timely driver alerts and vehicle actions. Lucid has not yet gone into details about its software program and the hardware it runs on, but has told us that a robust architecture ready for OTA updates will be able to upgrade to the next generation of driver assistance.
The 19 driver assistance features at launch include items such as Traffic Jam Assist (basically stop-and-go adaptive cruise control) and front and rear collision avoidance measures. Highway Assist bundles adaptive cruise control and lane centering, and a future upgrade will add more features to Highway Assist and install another driver assistance called Highway Pilot, described as “conditional hands-free driving.” Auto Park is designed to place the Air in a parallel or perpendicular parking space without driver intervention, and will even turn the wheels towards or away from the curb as needed when parked on a slope. A driver monitoring system will stop the car, arm the danger zone and unlock the doors if the driver never responds to his beeps and buzzes.
Designers have taken advantage of the Air’s many deluxe features to interact with DreamDrive residents, using text, color and shapes on the large screens, as well as the 21-speaker audio system that provides directional warnings. We should take a closer look as the first Air sedans start reaching customers later this month.