They will not serve as a driver distraction.
Screens in cars are now so large, in some cases they span the entire length of the dashboard. The upcoming Mercedes-Benz Hyperscreen in the EQS electric sedan measures 56 inches, but the German automaker promises it will be easy to use and master. Ditto for the 2021 Lucid Air, which is slated to go on sale later this year.
Lucid Motors just released new details on the Air's user experience, known as the Lucid UX. The infotainment system is divided between two primary touch-control displays, including a 34-inch 5K-resolution curved Glass Cockpit instrument panel and a lower screen called the Pilot Panel.
Lucid says it designed the UX for maximum usability, making it smartphone-like in its functionality. Speaking with potential owners, Lucid learned that infotainment systems in cars are not as intuitive or beautiful as the other devices in their lives. The company promises its approach to the human-machine interface will break that trend.
Lucid splits the Glass Cockpit into three segments; the left side controls vehicle functions (window defrosters, light settings, and wiper settings), the center section shows a clutter-free gauge cluster, and the right area holds navigation, media, and communications. The Pilot Panel houses the Air's climate controls, but users can also swipe down from the Glass Cockpit to see more expanded in-depth controls for music or navigation on the lower section. There's even a storage area hidden cleanly behind the panel. Lucid says the interaction between the Glass Cockpit and Pilot Panel is seamless as if they were one large screen.
Not only is the Lucid UX easy to use, but the American automaker says it is beautiful to look at as well. The themes are styled to match Lucid's home state of California and are color-matched to the fabrics and trims. There are some physical controls as well, and each one went through over 100 iterations of shapes, weighting, damping, and detent placement to discover the perfect tactile feel.
"In much the same way that a holistic, clean-sheet approach to design and engineering has made possible the revolutionary packaging and efficiency of Lucid Air, this built-from-the-ground-up strategy has also enabled the creation of Lucid UX, a truly innovative human-machine interface that is easy-to-use and aesthetically beautiful," said Derek Jenkins, Senior VP of Design and Brand of Lucid Motors. "Lucid UX retains specific aspects of a traditional physical interface and pairs those with an innovative digital form factor that's highly advanced and ergonomic, providing intuitive access to all vehicle systems."
The Lucid UX will tie into a 21-speaker Surreal Sound system with a brand-new featured called Dolby Atmos. Of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are integrated into the system, with the former offering wireless compatibility. Wi-Fi connectivity with over-the-air updates will ensure the Lucid UX remains fresh and regularly adds new features. A smartphone app will allow owners to check their charging status, set the climate controls, and pre-load navigation destinations. If their smartphone isn't handy, drivers can see the charge status reflected in the Air's headlights.