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Lucid Reveals New Details of its ‘DreamDrive' Advanced Driver Assist System, its Answer to Tesla's Autopilot

Lucid Reveals New Details of its ‘DreamDrive' Advanced Driver Assist System, its Answer to Tesla's Autopilot

Author: Eric Walz   

Luxury electric vehicle startup and Tesla challenger Lucid has already built the world's longest range EV with its Lucid Air sedan, but the company is not stopping there. The electric Lucid Air sedan will also include advanced driver assist features and autonomous driving capabilities. 

Lucid calls its advanced driver assist platform "DreamDrive" and the company has shared new details for the first time. According to Lucid, DreamDrive will be one of the most technically sophisticated advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in the industry. 

DreamDrive includes a suite of 32 on-board sensors in the Lucid Air, including a multi-faceted driver-monitoring system and on-board ethernet networking powering more than 30 features through a clear, user-friendly interface.  

A more advanced version called DreamDrive Pro will be standard on the Lucid Air Dream Edition and Lucid Air Grand Touring models. It will be available as an option for the other Lucid Air models. DreamDrive includes additional computing and sensor hardware in preparation for new features which Lucid will introduce via (OTA) software updates in the future so the systems can get better over time. 

"DreamDrive Pro has been designed to grow in capability, thanks to our ability to deliver software over-the-air and key equipment already in place in the vehicle," said Dr. Eugene Lee, Senior Director, ADAS and Autonomous Driving, Lucid Motors. "Thanks to highly integrated hardware and software teams, Lucid has the ability to develop new functionality for DreamDrive Pro in-house. This can benefit every facet of the DreamDrive Pro experience, from the frequency of updates to the planned rollout of the Highway Pilot system for conditional automated driving on select roadways in the coming years." 

The backbone of the powerful computer network in the vehicle is Lucid Air's proprietary "Ethernet Ring", which is a high-speed vehicle data network supporting four computer gateways. Each gateway communicates with the other at gigabit speeds, resulting in a high performance low latency network.

More importantly, the Ethernet Ring includes a high degree of redundancy for core vehicle systems such as steering and braking and other vehicle safety systems. An extra layer of redundancy is made possible by what Lucid calls a "dual-rail power architecture", which adds an additional layer of assurance in ensuring uninterrupted power delivery to vehicle systems.  

Data from all of the 32 sensors can be fed to the DreamDrive system at once, which Lucid says are integrated into the exterior of the Lucid Air sedan so that most drivers won't notice them. 

The DreamDrive system includes 14 visible-light cameras, five radar units, four surround view cameras, as well as ultrasonic sensors throughout the vehicle exterior.

The more advanced and capable DreamDrive Pro will include lidar technology to support autonomous driving, which Lucid says will be the first installation of LIDAR technology in a production vehicle in North America. 

This solid-state LIDAR sensor will deliver high-resolution data with an ultra-wide field of view, acting as a "co-pilot" for the driver with an extra  set of eyes on the road.

A Human-Machine Interface That's Easy to Use

Lucid took extra steps to make sure its DreamDrive system is highly intuitive and easy to use. The interface was developed to make use of text, color, and shapes to provide drivers with clear information, according to Lucid. 

DreamDrive Pro also uses Surreal Sound for audio cues. The Lucid Air offers a fully immersive 21-speaker system with Dolby Atmos technology to deliver clear directional alerts depending on where the driver's focus should be. For example, safety features like Front and Rear Cross Traffic Protection will alert the driver accordingly depending on what side of the vehicle the traffic is approaching from.

The platform also includes Surround View Monitoring with cameras that provide a 360-degree view of the vehicle to help assist parking or maneuvering in tight spaces at low speeds. 

DreamDrive Highway Assist 

The Highway Assist group of features is designed to help drivers stay safe during highway driving. According to  Lucid, Highway Assist blends adaptive cruise control (ACC) with lane centering control to help keep the Lucid Air precisely in its lane, as well as a safe distance from other vehicles.

A Traffic Jam Assist feature operates at speeds between 0 and 40 miles per hour, aiding in centering the vehicle in heavy traffic when lane lines are not visible. For vehicles equipped with DreamDrive Pro, Lucid says its already working on new functions for Highway Assist that can be pushed to the vehicle via an OTA update.

It's important to note that DreamDrive is considered to be a SAE Level-2 system, meaning that a human driver must pay attention at all times. To help ensure that the driver is always paying  attention, the Lucid Air features a sophisticated driver monitoring system. 

It uses an infrared driver camera to track head position, eye gaze, and blinking. Drivers must also keep their hands on the wheel at all times. The system features "hands-off detection" that prompts the driver to return their hands to the steering wheel immediately. 

Should the driver fail to respond due to dozing off or for a medical emergency, the system can even slow the vehicle to a complete stop, activate the emergency brake and  hazard lights, emit a high-pitched beep, and unlock the doors so that first responders can access the occupants if needed. 

DreamDrive will also feature automated parking. The "Auto Park" feature identifies parallel and perpendicular parking spots and can handle all of the driving tasks to park. The system can even detect when parking on a hill, and will turn the front wheels toward or away from the curb as needed for an extra layer of safety.

DreamDrive Pro will debut on the Lucid Air Dream Edition. Deliveries are set to begin later this month.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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