Lucid Unveils Lidar ADAS Tech for Its First EV
Electric car startup Lucid Motors will make lidar-based driver assist standard in its Air electric luxury sedan due next spring.
Dubbed DreamDrive, the advanced driver-assistance system consists of a network of 32 sensors: a front-facing lidar, 14 cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and five short- and long-range radar units.
Lucid Air prototype (Image: Lucid)
Level 2/3 Automation
Lucid says the ADAS array initially will enable Level 2 automation, meaning the ability to robotically steer, brake and accelerate under certain conditions— with constant driver monitoring—along with a long list of safety features.
The company is developing Level 3 capability that can be loaded into the car wirelessly. The upgrade will add other automated driving functions such as lane changing and passing slower traffic. The Level 3 system will continue to assume the driver is available to intervene if asked.
Lucid says DreamDrive’s architecture is the first to be built around a high-speed ethernet ring. The design enables redundancy for the sensors themselves and their ability to provide safely automated driving functions, according to the company.
The big-deal component in Lucid’s system is its front-facing, long-range, high-resolution lidar. The technology is a centerpiece in all advanced autonomous driving systems. But to date, it hasn’t been offered as standard equipment in a production car.
Among the initial 19 safety and convenience features Lucid says will be included in DreamDrive are:
- adaptive cruise control and automatic lane keeping
- traffic sign recognition
- automatic emergency braking
- autonomous parking
- 360° surround view
- blind spot display
- cross-traffic monitoring
- drowsy or distracted driver alert
Lucid worked on DreamDrive with such suppliers as Bosch, Continental and HERE but says integrated the system entirely in-house.
The company plans to begin production of the Air at the $300 million factory it is completing in Casa Grande, Ariz.
Sept. 9 Debut
The car, considered a direct competitor for the Tesla Model S, is expected to have a range of about 400 miles per charge, the ability to zoom from zero to 60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds and a top speed somewhere north of 200 mph.
Lucid says it will disclose product details and final pricing for the Air when it presents a production version of the car online on Sept. 9.
Last August, Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks marketing director, noted of the full-size SUV segment, “In the past five years, the average transaction price for the segment has climbed fueled by customer appetite for features like heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control and a head-up display.
While the whole notion of minivans might provoke an involuntary eye roll among some people, here’s an interesting fact: so far this year, through the end of March, Chrysler delivered 31,616 Town & Country minivans, which makes it, by far, the biggest selling vehicle in the brand’s showroom.
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