Since Lucid Motors was unable to reveal the production version of its electric vehicle, the Lucid Air in April at the New York Auto Show, because of the Covid-19 situation, the manufacturer seems to fear he might start to lose its future customers’ interest. In an effort to stir some hype, Lucid Motors has issued a press release divulgating a little more details about the Lucid Air’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) which purpose is to provide the vehicle with autonomous driving functions.
The manufacturer started by mentioning that the ADAS platform, called “Dream Drive,” includes 32 sensors, an Ethernet-based architecture, and a driver monitoring system. While this is all good, it’s not really surprising. Every self-driving vehicle will obviously come with many radars and cameras. What is the really significant point in the press release is the fact that Lucid Motors’ vehicles will include one lidar, which is a light detection and ranging radar measuring distance using laser light to come up with a 3D map of what’s around the car.
Unfortunately, what was supposed to give the manufacturer of the Lucid Air hopes a slight edge over its competitors may not be so special after all. Indeed, because of the delays caused by Covid-19, automakers all around the world are quickly catching up, as many of them are already planning to include a lidar too on future production vehicles. Volvo, for example, has already revealed that they will start producing vehicles equipped with lidar in 2022.
Surprisingly, even though Tesla is considered by many as one of the most promising autonomous driving vehicle manufacturers in the current market, it doesn’t use a lidar. It will be interesting to watch if Elon Musk will eventually jump on the lidar bandwagon too, at some point.
Another noteworthy point in Lucid Motors’ statement is the fact that the Air will be operated through a high-speed Ethernet-based architecture that stands out in the field. Of course, many car manufacturers ave been working on an advanced Ethernet technology for several years now. However, Lucid’s EV works with a linear Ethernet, which allows better control of other components such as brakes, steering, power sources, etc. Lucid also plans to make good use of ADAS over-the-air software upgrades, first popularised by Tesla.
With all that being said, yes, the Lucid Air seems exciting and could be a contender for the Best Self-Driving car title and potentially steal the crown from Tesla very shortly. However, there’s not much we can do now but wait for the official release, which should happen sometime in September.
To be continued…