Tesla rival Lucid Motors unveils semi-autonomous DreamDrive

Tesla rival Lucid Motors unveils semi-autonomous DreamDrive
Source: Lucid Motors

California-based Lucid Motors, a rival to EV manufacturing darling Tesla and more than half-owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has unveiled a new benchmark for advanced driver-assistance electric vehicles with its Lucid DreamDrive system offering the “most comprehensive sensor suite on the market”.

Lucid Motors unveiled its DreamDrive system on Tuesday, a sensor suite so comprehensive that it advances advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) technologies to near-semi-autonomous levels.

Specifically, when deliveries begin for the Lucid Air in early 2021, the company’s first “pure-electric luxury car” will be the first vehicle to market to be equipped with the combination of a driver monitoring system and a sensor suite including high-resolution LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor – which measures the distance from every object in the vehicle’s path.

Lucid’s DreamDrive technology suite will support 19 key safety, driving, and parking assist features which will come as standard on the Lucid Air upon delivery next year, utilising 32 sensors comprised of the latest camera, radar, and ultrasonic sensors, as well as its landmark long-range, high-resolution LIDAR placed at the front of the car.

Another eight features will be delivered later via over-the-air updates, making vehicles equipped with Lucid’s DreamDrive technology suite qualify as a Level 2 autonomous vehicle.

Additional DreamDrive capabilities which will enable Level 3 autonomy driving in certain conditions are also currently in development.

“We have developed Lucid DreamDrive to be among the most advanced ADAS to ever be offered to consumers,” said Dr. Eugene Lee, senior director for autonomous driving atLucid Motors.

“By prioritizing safety and updatability, Lucid DreamDrive also sets the stage for offering increasingly sophisticated driver assistance features.

“We have ensured that the Lucid DreamDrive hardware and software platform not only offers a full suite of Level 2 features, but is also Level 3 ready, which means we’ll be able to quickly add features and functions over-the-air throughout the lifetime of Lucid Air and for future Lucid models.”

Among the many driver assists built into the semi-autonomous luxury Air are surround view monitoring, blind spot display, traffic sign recognition, automatic emergency braking, and an in-car driver monitoring system designed to share relevant information with the driver while ensuring their necessary attention to the driving configuration.

The Air will also boast full-seed highway assist – which the company describes as “a combination of Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering” – headlight assist, autonomous parking assist, pullout control, and manoeuvre comfort braking.

The production version of Lucid’s Air will debut on September 9, and as such, some of the specifics of the vehicle are yet to be released. Lucid’s website highlights its “proprietary technology” as “forging a new performance standard” and a “pure electric drivetrain” which “delivers an unparalleled experience for driver and passenger alike.”

The Air will apparently boast a range of nearly 650km (400 miles) but will focus on delivering driving luxury in line with the Mercedes S-class.

“Lucid Motors is laser-focused on delivering the world’s best luxury car, embodying the most advanced powertrain and safety systems possible, all designed and developed in-house,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Motors.

“Our customers expect that philosophy to extend to the Lucid Air’s ADAS, and for that we’ve developed a highly advanced, future-proof system that brings forth an unparalleled combination of sensors and software.”


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