lucid air's dreamdrive boasts up to 18 cameras, five radar units and even a lidar unit

With the Lucid Air finally trundling down the production line, Lucid is opening up about what the Air will be able to do. DreamDrive is the name of the nascent automaker’s driver assistance tech platform, delivering the batch convenience features expected of any luxury EV. Up to 32 sensors enable DreamDrive's abilities: 14 visible-light cameras; four surround-view cameras; one long-range radar unit; four short-range radar units; a solid-state, ultra-wide-view lidar unit; and ultrasonic sensors forming a perimeter.

The qualification “up to” separates DreamDrive from DreamDrive Pro, the latter coming standard on the Air's $169,000 Dream Edition and $139,000 Grand Touring trims, and optional elsewhere. Pro gets more hardware and software, including that lidar. Every DreamDrive installation includes four processors at the sedan's corners, connected by gigabit-per-second Ethernet to turn copious detection potential into timely driver warnings and vehicle actions. Lucid hasn't gone into details yet about its software program and the hardware it runs on, but has told us a robust architecture ready for OTA updates will be able to upgrade to the next generation of driver assistance.

The 19 driver-assistance features at launch include items like Traffic Jam Assist (basically stop-and-go adaptive cruise control), and collision avoidance measures front and rear. Highway Assist bundles adaptive cruise control and lane centering, and a future upgrade will add more functions to Highway Assist and install another driver aid called Highway Pilot, described as “conditional hands-free driving capability.” Auto Park is engineered to slot the Air into a parallel or perpendicular parking spot without input from the driver, and will even turn the wheels toward or away from the curb as needed when parked on an incline. A driver monitoring system will stop the car, turn on the hazards, and unlock the doors if the driver never responds to its beeps and buzzes.

Designers have employed the Air's numerous luxury features for DreamDrive-occupant interaction, using text, color, and shapes on the large displays, as well as the 21-speaker audio system providing directional alerts. We should begin to get good looks at it as the first Air sedans start reaching customers later this month.

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