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A Look at Lucid’s DreamDrive: Revolutionary or Ordinary?

The production version of the breathtaking Lucid Air was revealed recently, and its goal is to set new standards for the luxury EV segment. It brings unparalleled range, a massive power output, efficient aerodynamics, and what is described as one of the most innovative advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to date.
A Look at Lucid’s DreamDrive: Revolutionary or Ordinary? 7 photos
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The Silicon Valley-based company was founded in 2007 as Atieva and initially set its sights on developing batteries and powertrains for other EV manufacturers.

Since some of the key employees previously worked for the likes of Tesla and Mazda, the company decided to take on the more ambitious goal of developing their own vehicles.

They rebranded the company to Lucid Motors in September 2016, with the aim of developing a high-performance luxury EV and two months later, the prototype for the Air was unveiled.

It had a powertrain capable of developing 1,000 hp using two high-capacity motors and showcased what Lucid had set out to achieve: “set a new benchmark for luxury cars.”

The final production version backed that claim up, as the best out of four trim levels revealed, the Air Dream limited edition, will deliver a dual-motor powertrain with a combined output of 1,080 hp. But all four will be jam-packed with seemingly innovative features.

Lucid Air
Among those is the advanced driver-assistance system called DreamDrive, which is advertised as the most complex platform of its kind on a production vehicle, and will be available as standard on all trims, including the entry-level Air.

It offers a full suite of partially autonomous features (Level 2) and will receive more features soon, making it capable of increased autonomous capabilities (Level 3), from the start of production.

The suite is composed of nineteen safety, driving and parking assist systems, with another eight to be added in the future, via updates. Yes, folks, we live in an era where our phones, watches, and now cars receive constant updates.

Lucid Air DreamDrive ADAS
These systems include Surround View Monitoring which uses cameras to monitor the car from every angle. Blind Spot Display with Cross Traffic Protection that alerts the driver of vehicles coming from the side, or crossing the car’s path when backing out of a parking lot.

Traffic Sign Recognition, a technology that displays traffic signs on the vehicle’s display is also available, along with Automatic Emergency Braking which detects an incoming collision and applies the brakes automatically to prevent or mitigate it.

The available ADAS incorporates features like Full-Speed Highway Assist, which enables drivers to cruise on the highway while the car controls the lane-keeping and maintains a safe distance from other vehicles. It also offers Autonomous Parking, although we have yet to find out what level of input the driver will have when using this assist.

None of these are groundbreaking, never-before-used technologies, but they offer a very solid ADAS bundled up with the thirteen cameras that cover every angle, five radars, twelve ultrasonic sensors, and a front-mounted LiDAR.

This device is a more complex version of a traditional radar but uses a combination of laser scanning and 3D imaging to precisely measure distances. Its presence also hints at the future Level 3 capabilities, as and it is the cornerstone of any aspiring self-driving car.

Lucid Air
Lucid developed the DreamDrive in-house, and although they are not new technologies as I mentioned before, they benefit from years of research and development from leading automotive tech giants like Here, Continental, and Bosch, who partnered with the Californian carmaker to develop this combined system.

There is no question that DreamDrive is one of the most complex bundles of assists and safety features out there and that they'll exponentially improve safety, comfort, and driving experience.

But since it features existing technologies that have become mainstream in the industry, I think Lucid is more or less just selling us dreams, and it is still a long way from setting any new benchmarks for advanced driver-assistance systems.

 

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