Now that the Lucid Air is finally in production, its creator is eager to tout the EV’s semi-autonomous driving assistance — although it may be as much about what’s missing as what’s here. The new brand has provided further details of its DreamDrive system, now split into regular and Pro versions. Both variants will include 14 regular cameras, four surround cameras, five radar sensors and a string of ultrasonic sensors, but you’ll need the Air in Dream Edition or Grand Touring trim to get DreamDrive Pro’s LiDAR and the advanced features that will come with it.
Every Air buyer will get core features like Highway Assist (adaptive cruise control with lane centering), Traffic Jam Assist (lane centering at low speeds), cross-traffic protection and Auto Park (for both parallel and perpendicular parking). The combination of an infrared driver camera and hands-off detection will make sure your head, eyes and (of course) hands are focused on the road. If you’re incapacitated or simply ignore the warnings, DreamDrive will ultimately bring the car to a complete stop, switch on hazard lights and unlock the doors. These will sound familiar on a basic level if you’ve ever used Tesla’s Autopilot.
You’ll need DreamDrive Pro to get the most out of Lucid’s platform, however. The Pro tier will include 21-speaker directional alerts as well as the upcoming Highway Pilot system and its “conditional” hands-free driving. Cars with Pro will also get more Highway Assist features through software updates, although Lucid didn’t say when those upgrades might arrive.
The technology as described won’t yet match all the features from its most advanced rivals, such as Tesla’s Full Self-Driving or GM’s upcoming Ultra Cruise. LiDAR could give Lucid an edge, but it could take a long while before the sensor reaches its full potential. Instead, Lucid’s greatest advantage might simply be its more realistic (if still fluffy) marketing. Where Tesla is in trouble for implying its cars are autonomous, Lucid is careful to position DreamDrive as a driver assistance system and not much more.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.