ucid Motors is moments away from launching its flagship vehicle, the Lucid Air Dream Edition. Besides the impressive range and alluring interior/exterior, one feature that could exponentially increase the gap from competitors is their advanced driver-assistance system, called DreamDrive Pro.
DreamDrive Pro is the "most comprehensive sensor suite" available on an EV. The Air will have a high-resolution LIDAR, a driver monitoring system, and a fully redundant platform. DreamDrive is composed of 32 sensors, including cameras, radar, LIDAR, and ultrasonic sensors. in addition, an in-car driver monitoring system also makes sure the driver is paying the "necessary attention to the driving configuration." For now it looks like DreamDrive Pro will be standard on the Dream Edition and Grand Touring versions of the Air, while the Air Touring and Air Pure will come with DreamDrive, with an option to upgrade to DreamDrive Pro.
The Lucid Air is planned to launch with Level 2 autonomous driving features. For reference:
Tesla's Autopilot is classified as Level 2 under the SAE International six levels (0 to 5) of vehicle automation. At this level, the car can act autonomously, but requires the driver to monitor the driving at all times and be prepared to take control at a moment's notice.
What is Lidar, and is it Useful?
Lidar is short for "light detection and ranging." The systems use pulsed lasers to map a three-dimensional model of an environment. Lidar's use of light allows it to map the environment quickly and more accurately than systems that use sound (sonar) or microwaves (radar).
Basic Arguments for Lidar
When self-driving vehicles eventually make their way into the real world on a large-scale basis, the amount of data needed at speed is staggering. This data is necessary to piece together a decision-making process that is anywhere remotely near the level of complexity that a human brain can manage; autonomous vehicles need to have an accurate and real-time picture of the world around them. This is especially true in urban environments, where human drivers encounter other people, animals, and various vehicles in a short period of time. Many automakers like Lucid Motors use LiDAR in their sensor suite, which helps paint a more accurate picture so the autonomous driving software can make proper "decisions."
Arguments Against Lidar
To reiterate, many companies working on autonomous vehicles and that type of technology believe that LiDAR is a standard when it comes to sensors. Still, not all automakers believe that Lidar is a necessity or even needed at all. Elon Musk has been very critical of Lidar because the technology only recreates an image of its surroundings instead of getting a visual representation of what's happening.
Tesla also argues (some others too) that using a vision-based system with cameras can achieve the same level of awareness that a high-performance lidar system brings, but with an additional level of security that comes from pictures of the actual environment. Tesla's systems use cameras and learn over time, making the autonomous driving software further able to deal with unpredictable environments. That functionality, combined with cameras being far less expensive than Lidar, has led some to question the need for costly sensors like Lidar.
Levels of Autonomy
Level 0 (No Driving Automation)
Manually controlled. The human provides the "dynamic driving task"
Level 1 (Driver Assistance)
The vehicle features a single automated system for driver assistance, such as steering or accelerating (cruise control).
Level 2 (Partial Driving Automation)
ADAS. The vehicle can control both steering and accelerating/decelerating. Here the automation falls short of self-driving because a human sits in the driver’s seat and can take control of the car at any time.
Level 3 (Conditional Driving Automation)
Vehicles have “environmental detection” capabilities and can make informed decisions for themselves, such as accelerating past a slow-moving vehicle. But―they still require human override.
Level 4 (High Driving Automation)
Level 4 vehicles can intervene if things go wrong or there is a system failure. In this sense, these cars do not require human interaction in most circumstances. However, a human still has the option to manually override.
Level 5 (Full Driving Automation)
Level 5 vehicles do not require human attention―the “dynamic driving task” is eliminated. Level 5 cars won’t even have steering wheels or acceleration/braking pedals. They will be free from geofencing, able to go anywhere and do anything that an experienced human driver can do.
Lucid Air DreamDrive Features
DreamDrive is fully future-proofed — and ready for upgrades to Level 3 features as they become available. It's also the first ADAS system built on a high-speed Ethernet Ring electric architecture, which also serves as a fully redundant platform for key functions like steering, brakes, and sensors — with independent power sources and communications paths, fail-operational actuators, and fault-tolerant computation. It all brings Lucid's holistic philosophy of safety to a full circle.
- Surround View Monitoring
- Blind Spot Display
- Cross Traffic Protection
- Traffic Sign Recognition
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Alerts for distracted or drowsy drivers
- Full Speed Highway Assist (Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering)
- Traffic Drive-Off Alert
- Headlight Assist
- Autonomous Parking Assist
- Pullout Control
- Maneuver Comfort Braking
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