Lucid Air luxury EV will feature DreamDrive ADAS suite with 32 sensors, 19 systems
The suite will be SAE Level 2 equivalent at launch with plans to update software to Level 3 later.
Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) have become increasingly important to car shoppers in recent years. As such, many car manufacturers have allocated vast chunks of engineering time and resources to develop them.
Luxury electric vehicle startup Lucid understands the importance of these systems and made an effort to go above and beyond with its ADAS suite, which it's calling DreamDrive. Based on specs alone, the DreamDrive suite looks promising, but what's almost more impressive is what Lucid is not claiming it will do.
I'll explain. Many autonomous car startups are promising that their vehicles will be self-driving -- operating at SAE Level 4 or 5, even -- and while that doubtless sounds good if you're pitching to some venture capitalists, that technology is pretty far from being reality. Lucid claims that DreamDrive will be a full-featured Level 2 system at launch with plans to bring Level 3 functionality to it later through over-the-air updates.
The difference between Level 2 and Level 5 autonomy may sound minimal, but it's like the difference between losing your phone in your house and finding it with its "Find my phone" feature vs. your phone getting up and walking across the apartment to where you are. That is to say, that Level 2 is where we are now at a technological level, and Level 5 is a ways off.
"By prioritizing safety and updateability, DreamDrive also sets the stage for offering increasingly sophisticated driver-assistance features," said Dr. Eugene Lee, senior director, ADAS and Autonomous Driving for Lucid Motors, in a statement. "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."
Part of Lucid's future-proofing plan for the transition from Level 2 to Level 3 involves packing its Air EV with 32 sensors of different types, including lidar. The car will be hardware-ready before the software is -- Tesla does the same thing with its vehicles and Autopilot. DreamDrive is set to ship with 19 systems, including advanced driver monitoring ala Cadillac's SuperCruise.
Among the features planned for DreamDrive are automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic headlights, etc. Lucid also plans to include an automatic parking feature. None of this is revolutionary, but it is all very nice to see.
Lucid will hopefully give us the rest of the dirt on the rest of the ADAS features for the Air during the vehicle's online debut, which is currently scheduled for Sept. 9.
Lucid Motors shows off Air, an electric luxury sedan