Although the folks at Lucid Group probably don’t think about Elon all that often. . .
By Gary S. Vasilash
Lucid Group, which is producing its Lucid Air electric vehicles in its brand-new plant in Casa Grande, AZ, put Tesla in second place in the range department as it got a 520-mile range rating from the EPA, and the Model S Long Range is 412 miles.
(To be sure, 412 miles is nothing to sniff at, as it is the sort of thing that most OEMs would give up an engine plant to achieve.)
And now there is another numeric–and arguably functional–difference.
Elon Musk is famously sensor thrifty, as Tesla models dependi on cameras and ultrasonic sensors (it had been using radar, but evidently that went away earlier this year). Which make the nomenclature “Full Self-Driving” and “Autopilot” all the more troubling for those who actually think about the implications of those names.
Lucid announced the details of its “DreamDrive” advanced driver assistance systems, the base and Pro versions (Pro is standard on Lucid Air Dream Edition and Lucid Air Grand Touring, so the “dream” in the name goes to the model, not some sort of suggestion that one can sleep behind the wheel).
The system can utilize as many as 32 sensors, including 14 visible-light cameras, five radar units, four surround view cameras, ultrasonic sensors throughout the vehicle exterior, and, for DreamDrive Pro, solid-state lidar.
Of course, sensors are only part of an ADAS system. Processing capability is essential.
Lucid is using its proprietary “Ethernet Ring” system, which is a high-speed data network for four computer gateways to communicate at gigabit speeds so that the processors can assure that the sensor input gets translated into the steering, braking and accelerating functions as required.
When it comes to driver assistance, the more support—and sensors—the better.
Tesla’s approach notwithstanding.