Lucid Announces New Safety Tech

Chris Teague | Oct 12, 2021

Recently, we learned about the upcoming Lucid Air electric vehicle’s (EV) impressive range estimates, but the car’s safety equipment may put it on many shoppers’ lists. Today, Lucid announced the Air’s advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), including collision avoidance, traffic jam assist, and more. Called DreamDrive and DreamDrive Pro, the option groups package together several popular advanced driver aids.

Lucid Air Ethernet Ring

Lucid’s DreamDrive system uses up to 32 sensors to form a picture of the world around the car, including 14 visible-light cameras, five radar units, four surround-view cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and more. DreamDrive Pro adds lidar, making it the first automotive installation of the hardware in North America. Lucid says that the solid-state lidar sensor will generate “high-resolution data with an ultra-wide field of view” that will detect obstacles better than human drivers can.

Lucid is not promising a self-driving car and instead focuses heavily on the driver’s role in vehicle safety systems. The DreamDrive system offers a complex human interface that delivers alerts via the car’s 21-speaker stereo system and surround-view monitoring cameras. The Lucid Air’s stereo can alert drivers to threats in a directional manner, meaning an oncoming vehicle on the driver’s side would trigger an audio alert on that side of the car stereo.

DreamDrive also features Highway Assist, a group of features that enable semi-autonomous driving in limited scenarios. Using adaptive cruise controllane-keeping assistanceblind-spot warning, and other safety features, Highway Assist keeps the car centered in its lane and at a safe distance to the vehicles around it. DreamDrive’s Traffic Jam Assist feature extends adaptive cruise control to speeds between 0 and 40 mph and can center the car in its lane even when other vehicles block lane markings.

Highway Assist uses an infrared driver camera to track head position, eye gaze, and blinking, while a separate sensor can detect when the driver’s hands leave the steering wheel, prompting a warning to keep hands on it. If the driver fails to respond, the system can slow the vehicle to a complete stop, activate the emergency brake, activate hazard lights, and unlock the car’s doors so that first responders can access passengers.

DreamDrive can also help park using its Auto Park feature to identify parallel and perpendicular parking spots. When the feature is activated, the car will handle gear selection, braking, power, and sensors to enter a parking spot safely. Auto Park will turn the wheels toward or away from the curb if the vehicle is parked on a hill.

To keep DreamDrive running smoothly, Lucid added a robust in-vehicle computer network. Called Ethernet Ring, the high-speed data network connects four computers at each corner of the car. The system enables the computers to communicate at gigabit speeds to create redundancies in steering, braking, sensors, power, and other vehicle components. Along with Lucid’s dual-rail power architecture, the components help ensure that vehicle systems receive the energy they need to work correctly. The tech also allows over-the-air updates that can improve safety features and add new functionality over time.

Lucid is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on October 12, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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