Lucid Air electric sedan interface doesn’t skip physical touch points

Lucid Motors on Wednesday released more details of the digital interface in its Air electric luxury sedan, which is scheduled to start customer deliveries in the second half of this year.

Fittingly for a car named Air, Lucid calls its dashboard display a “Glass Cockpit,” owing to the reliance on digital displays, but with some physical touch points to make everything easier to use while driving.

The Air features a 34-inch 5K curved display screen, along with the “Pilot Panel,” a smaller screen positioned below the main one. Both are contoured toward the driver, making them easy to reach, but potentially making things more awkward for passengers.

Lucid Air interior - user interface

Lucid Air interior – user interface

The main Glass Cockpit display groups information into three sections, according to Lucid, with vehicle controls (such as window defrosters and wipers) at the left; speed, range, and driver-aid status in the center; and infotainment functions like navigation on the right.

The smaller Pilot Panel displays climate control and seat settings, but the driver or front passenger can also swipe items down from the Glass Cockpit display, for more in-depth control of features like music or navigation, Lucid said. The Pilot Panel also retracts, revealing a storage space behind it, the company said.

Lucid Air interior - user interface

Lucid Air interior – user interface

Lucid did include some analog controls as well, positioned on the dashboard, doors, and steering wheel. Certain functions, such as window switches, were simply best served by physical touch points, the company said.

The Air will get wireless Apple CarPlay, but it appears Android Auto users will still need to plug in. The car will also feature integrated Spotify and iHeartRadio, plus an optional 21-speaker Dolby Atmos surround-sound system.

2021 Lucid Air

2021 Lucid Air

The Air will launch in range-topping Dream Edition form, with 1,080 horsepower, a claimed 503-mile range, and a $169,000 base price. However, Lucid plans to follow that up with a base version starting at $77,400, with a claimed 406-mile range.

Air sedans will also feature Lucid DreamDrive driver-assist tech, which takes a different approach from Tesla by relying on lidar, and emphasizing privacy controls.

Lucid plans to launch the Project Gravity SUV in 2023 as its second model, using the same basic platform as the Air. Both will be built at a new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona.

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