The EV start-up is partnering with sound specialists Dolby for an industry-first audio system.
If you have a love of music and some money to spend, some fantastic OEM-supplied sound systems are available in premium and luxury vehicles. New automaker, Lucid, plans to step into the market with the most luxurious electric cars available, so a next-level audio system is vital to its new Air model.
Lucid's 21-speaker Surreal Sound system uses carefully positioned front, rear, side, and height speakers that the automaker says "allow the driver and passengers to feel the relative movement of individual sounds as they move around the cabin." To tune the system, Lucid brought in Dolby and used Capitol Records Studio C recording studio to reference the sound design.
Capitol Records Studio C is a legendary mixing studio used by recording artists and creating movie soundtracks. Dolby Atmos is a surround sound format familiar to home theater nerds, but it's also becoming popular as a new way to experience music.
"As the first car to integrate Dolby Atmos, Lucid Air delivers an elevated, multi-dimensional sound experience on par with the other innovations at Lucid," said Derek Jenkins, Senior VP of Design, Lucid Motors. "The post-luxury experience is not just about beautiful design and next-generation technology; it also speaks to an unmatched in-car experience that engages all the senses."
There's also a practical element to using an integrated surround system that Lucid is exploiting. It will allow audible alerts, notifications, indications, and warning sounds to be "placed." For example, audible blind spot warnings will come from the direction a vehicle has been detected. "Even sounds as common as turn signals will sound to the driver as if it were coming from the indicated side of the vehicle," Lucid says.
The Lucid Air is available for reservations now, but production has been delayed. Lucid's CEO, Peter Rawlinson, recently said the delay is self-imposed as Lucid would rather take more time to "get the quality right" than rush to market. It's a clever move when your main goal is to beat Tesla at its own game.