Lucid reveals its new cabin tech suite that will debut with the Air EV featuring a massive 34-inch, curved 5K display.
Lucid has released more information and images of the interior of its upcoming Air electric car, including more details about the Lucid User Experience -- or Lucid UX, for short -- cabin tech suite that will power the vehicle's massive array of displays.
It seems like big honking screens will be a hallmark of premium and luxury electric cars going forward and it sort of makes sense as a ludicrous display of the high-technology that powers these rides. Tesla kicked things off with the Model S' 17-incher and things have escalated wildly from there with Byton planning to put a 48-inch curved display in the M-Byte and Mercedes-Benz showing off a 56-inch Hyperscreen panel for the EQS.
Compared to those giants, the Lucid Air's 34-inch Glass Cockpit seems almost reasonable. Like Mercedes' Hyperscreen, Lucid's Glass Cockpit is actually a trio of smaller screens fused together by a single curved piece of glass to give the appearance of a larger continuous 5K LCD display.
The two outer screens are touch sensitive: On the left are basic vehicle controls, such as windshield wipers, defrosters, and headlights. On the right, you'll find infotainment controls for media, destination selection, handsfree calling and more. The center area can't be touched (the steering wheel is in the way) and is home to your speed, range and battery level info. Information regarding Lucid's DreamDrive driver aid system will also appear on the center screen when active, as well as turn-by-turn directions when a destination is selected.
The Glass Cockpit's slight curvature makes the left and right displays a fairly easy reach from the driver's seating position and highlight the "floating" design, with the sole attachment point to the dashboard being at the steering column.
"What really sets us apart is the form factor itself," said Lucid's SVP of Design & Brand, Derek Jenkins. "Everything is contoured to the driver to optimize ergonomic reach, so I have a really good touch range for every screen inside the car. At the end of the day, we shouldn't be making a tablet on wheels."
Just below the Glass Cockpit cluster is a tablet on wheels… sort of. Dubbed the Pilot Panel, this motorized, secondary -- which can slide away to reveal a center console storage cubby -- boasts a more tablet-like design and is home to infotainment features like advanced vehicle controls and climate controls.
The Pilot Panel is also where Glass Cockpit apps can be sent when they need a bit more room to breathe. For example, swiping down on the currently playing song on the Glass Cockpit sends the media app down to the Pilot Panel where a larger list of albums, songs and playlists can be browsed by either the driver or front passenger. Pulling down on recent calls brings up your contacts list and full call history on the lower display. Lucid calls this joining of simple, low-distraction displays up top with access to rich information down below Application Flow.
In addition to the trio of touchscreens, Lucid UX will also feature physical buttons and rollers for certain functions, including a volume roller that lives at the center of the dashboard action. (Thanks, for that.) Users will also have access to standard voice control with Amazon Alexa built-in. iPhone users will have access to wireless Apple CarPlay; USB-wired Android Auto is also standard.
The 21-speaker Surreal Sound audio system also offers an invisible layer of auditory interaction, offering 3D audio throughout the cabin for media and music. We've previously covered how the integration of Dolby Atmos' spatial audio also enhances the Air's safety systems by adding directionality to the chimes for, for example, the blind spot monitoring or parking aid sensors.
Outside of the car, Lucid UX will sync with a Lucid user account which is accessible via the Lucid smartphone app, of course. The app will allow users to plan routes and save destinations before leaving home, as well as remote monitoring the climate control, charging state and more. Here is also where you'll manage login information for Lucid's app partners -- including Spotify, Tidal, PocketCasts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and Alexa -- as well as their Electrify America charging account.
Standard facial recognition cameras built into the base of the Glass Cockpit detect the driver when settling in at the beginning of a trip, syncing the associated Lucid account and any pre-planned trips automatically.
The 2022 Lucid Air should start arriving in driveways later this year -- at least, for those who got their preorders in early -- with the big Glass Cockpit and Pilot Panel dashboard displays aglow. Presumably, we'll see similar tech in future Lucid models, like the upcoming "Project Gravity" SUV and the rumored Model 3 rival. However, like any tech car worth its silicon, Lucid UX is over-the-air updateable via Wi-Fi or cellular and will continue to add new features, redesigns, tweaks and bug fixes over the lifetime of the vehicle.