The Lucid Air Will Offer Semi-Autonomous Driving When It Launches In Early 2021

This Tesla rival will formally reveal its production model on September 9

The Lucid Air will debut in early September [Photos: Lucid Motors]

Lucid Motors has already shown us much of how their Air sedan is shaping up. On September 9, the company plans to unveil its production-ready version in a virtual unveiling. Before that, however, the manufacturer did share more information on the car’s semi-autonomous driving capability, which it says will feature when the Lucid Air hits the streets in early 2021.

The company announced its “DreamDrive” system Tuesday, an advanced driver assistance system aimed to give the car a competitive edge against its chief rival, the Tesla Model S, as well as models set to launch in the near future like the Mercedes-Benz EQS. The first versions of the car will house the a suite of safety and driving features as standard equipment, including ultrasonic sensors, high-resolution Lidar and cameras. In all, Lucid says the Air has no fewer than 32 sensors as part of a “multimodal” approach to feed data to the DreamDrive system.

By “semi-autonomous”, the Lucid Air will not drive without any human intervention right at launch. The company says it is Level 2 capable from the start, by way of 19 key features. Those include driving aids like Highway Assist (a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane centering) and automatic high beams, parking systems like autonomous parking assist, and safety features like surround view monitoring, blind spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking. Additional features will come through over-the-air (OTA) updates at a later date. Dr. Eugene Lee, Lucid’s senior director of autonomous driving development, says Level 3 features are coming, and the car will be “Level 3 ready” at launch.

A visual represtation of Ludid’s “DreamDrive” technology, including its integrated systems.

In developing its semi-autonomous tech, Lucid worked with suppliers like Bosch, Continental and Here. Even with the partnerships, though, the company says it is integrating all these systems completely in-house.

Pricing should come closer to the reveal

Pricing information for the Lucid Air is not available yet, but we should see more on that in the coming weeks. When it goes into production, Lucid will build its sedan at its new plant in Casa Grande, Arizona.