What is Lucid DreamDrive?

Jessica Shea Choksey | Oct 28, 2021

Advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) suites have become essential in making the driving experience safer and more confidence-inspiring. The latest automaker introducing ADAS technology to its owners is California-based electric vehicle (EV) startup Lucid. The company’s new DreamDrive ADAS platform is standard on the newly arriving Lucid Air sedan. It employs more than 30 systems, including the first use of lidar in an automobile in the United States.

Lucid Air Ethernet Ring

How DreamDrive Works

Lucid calls DreamDrive “the most technically sophisticated ADAS system” due to its extensive use of sensors. The tech suite employs 32 ultrasonic sensors that collect and feed real-time data to the vehicle’s uniquely developed ADAS software. These sensors are subtly integrated into the Lucid Air’s exterior design, making them practicality invisible to an observer.

Beyond its sensors, the DreamDrive system captures the vehicle’s environment through 14 visible-light cameras, five radar units, and four surround-view cameras working in tandem. This hardware is supported by Lucid’s proprietary Ethernet Ring, an in-car high-speed data network enabling communication between vehicle systems.

DreamDrive’s Functionalities

Dream Drive has various functionalities. The critical system features fall into three main categories: safety, driver convenience, and parking.

Safety:

Driver Convenience:

Parking:

DreamDrive Pro

DreamDrive moves to a higher level of processing power and sensory hardware with the upgraded DreamDrive Pro system. This elevated version of Lucid’s ADAS suite is standard equipment on upper trim levels of the Lucid Air—Dream Edition and Grand Touring. Lower trims of the Lucid Air will offer DreamDrive Pro as an available feature. In addition to its broader range of capabilities, DreamDrive Pro will receive new feature rollouts and system upgrades via over-the air updates.

A Flagship for Lidar

With DreamDrive Pro, the Lucid Air becomes the first automotive application of lidar in the U.S. The solid-state lidar sensor combines high-resolution data with an ultra-wide field of view to observe the roadway in detail for hazards that may be undetectable to the driver. This technology builds a virtual 360-degree 3D image of the vehicle’s surroundings with a radius of up to 400 feet. DreamDrive Pro serves as an invisible co-pilot with lidar, elevating safety and driver confidence to a whole new level.

The use of lidar sets Lucid’s ADAS strategy apart from that of its main competitor, Tesla. While Tesla uses a pure-vision approach to roadway detection, Lucid has embraced lidar as a key technology in its efforts to help make the driver and car more aware of their surrounding environment.

Human-Machine Interface

DreamDrive allows the driver to connect with the Lucid Air’s ADAS functionality through a front-and-center display screen integrated into the vehicle’s instrument panel. The easy-to-use interface uses text, color, and sound to provide drivers with information presented clearly on the display. It also utilizes Surreal Sound—a fully immersive 21-speaker system—to deliver clear directional alerts and enhance safety features like front and rear cross-traffic alert and automatic emergency braking.

The Highway Experience

The Highway Assist feature helps reduce the burden of long-distance driving fatigue by allowing the driver to take their hands off the wheel. It combines adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assistance to keep the vehicle cruising along on the freeway at a safe distance from the car ahead while staying fixed to its lane. With upgraded DreamDrive Pro, this semi-autonomous system will offer more advanced functionality on an expanding number of roadways in the coming years. Other automakers are bringing similar systems to market to ease the burden of highway driving, such as GM’s forthcoming Ultra Cruise.

DreamDrive utilizes a driver monitoring system with an infrared camera to track head position and eye movement to ensure the driver remains attentive while using Highway Assist. If the system detects the driver is not paying attention to the road ahead, it will prompt them with visual and auditory alerts to return their hands to the steering wheel. Should the driver fail to respond, the system will safely slow the vehicle to a complete stop, activate hazard lights, emit a high-pitched sound to gain the attention of the driver or other occupants, and unlock the doors for emergency responders.

In addition to Highway Assist, DreamDrive features traffic jam assist for stop-and-go driving on the interstate. This system operates at speeds up to 40 miles per hour and helps center the vehicle when driving in slow-moving highway congestion.

Parking

As the name suggests, Auto Park is a self-parking system that identifies parallel and perpendicular parking spots. It automatically selects gears, steers, and drives forward and backward to position the vehicle safely and correctly in an available parking space. Auto Park will also automatically turn the front wheels toward or away from the curb when parking on a hill as a safety measure to prevent the car from potentially rolling.

Summary

DreamDrive is an intuitive ADAS that makes Lucid’s new all-electric Air sedan safer and more stress-free to drive. Whether it is detecting roadway objects with lidar, optimizing the vehicle’s lane position on the highway, or parking automatically, DreamDrive pushes the limits of ADAS technology to a new level in the EV space.

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