Archives – December 23, 2016

Lucid Reveals a New Luxury Sedan

Lucid Air - CNET

Lucid Air – CNET

Lucid Motors unveiled its much anticipated electric vehicle with a projected range of more than 400 miles. The car’s acceleration is also high, and it intends to exceed any model that Tesla plans to offer. The luxury sedan in question will give the experience of a luxury jet. Additionally, it will ooze an air of sophistication and elegance, considering its state-of-the-art self-driving capabilities, aircraft-style seating, and high-resolution computer displays. The company hopes that production will start in 2018 at Arizona’s $700 million factory. The pricing will be comparable to that of Tesla Model S. Its 1000 horsepower electric car variant will have a starting price of about $100,000. Next in line will be an electric vehicle with a retail price of $65,000.

Lucid comprises of 300 employees, as the core team aims to improve on the key features present in Tesla’s Model X or S. It also plans to emphasize on creating an interior that is more traditionally luxurious compared to Tesla’s minimalist style. Chief Technical Officer of Lucid, Peter Rawlinson, was previously the lead engineer in Tesla’s Model S development. Derek Jenkins, the design’s vice president was formerly the leader of Mazda’s design center in North America. We are yet to see how this automaker will keep up with the strong competition from Tesla, which is better-established. It will also be forced to battle electric cars having a range of 200-300 miles from major automakers.

The Lucid Air will set a new standard on the performance of the luxury electric vehicles. For instance, it will have a unique two-seat design that allows the seats to recline up to fifty-five degrees. It will also have air suspension design allowing the inversion of the normal engineering to bring the springs nearer to the wheels. Many design themes will also incorporate natural materials, such as textured woven and leather fabrics. Other notable features are 29-speaker audio systems, optional glass and active noise cancellation. The car will also have focused microphones for passengers to use the car’s language voice system. This feature will improve the accuracy of infotainment and navigation requests in the same way as Apple’s Siri.

Recently, the company made an announcement of its collaboration with Samsung’s SDI to produce battery cells with high-power density and energy. The Director of Lucid’s battery technology, Albert Liu, said that Lucid Air will utilize battery cells that offer resilience when charging at high-speeds so as to reduce loss of energy capacity over the car’s lifetime.

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General Motors’ Plan to Produce Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt

chevrolet-boltGeneral Motors has a plan of taking advantage of the new self-driving auto law implemented in Michigan. With the production of Chevy Bolt, GM will be the first car manufacturer to produce autonomous cars. According to Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, the automaker is set to immediately start conducting tests for the self-driving Chevy Bolts within the Detroit area. The testing in question is expected to begin as early as January 2017. Doug Parks, the vice president of General Motors said that the automaker has already started testing around 40 autonomous Bolts in Scottsdale, Arizona, and San Francisco. The test runs in Michigan will be on a larger scale compared to the ones currently going on.

The automaker is set to utilize Michigan’s self-driving vehicle policy, as well as current severe weather conditions that take place in Michigan. Mary Barra said that the main objective is to make sure that the autonomous cars produced can be driven safely in all roads and weather conditions. A few days ago, Rick Snyder, the Michigan governor, signed legislation that gave automakers, as well as technology partners, a go-ahead to implement, test, and market autonomous cars in the state. The policy covers more than what has been enacted in other states. It allows for the removal of brake pedals and steering wheels. It also gives companies the permission to provide ride-hailing options with their autonomous cars.

Assembling of the autonomous Bolts will be held at the General Motors plant situated in Orion Township. Non-autonomous fully-electric Chevy Bolts are produced within the same plant along with Chevrolet Sonic subcompact vehicle. The workers of GM will incorporate some of the Chevy Bolt’s sensors, Lidar (radar that uses light rather than sound), and cameras, as well as test out other autonomous technology. So far, testing has been been done only on private roads located a mile from the General Motors technical center. Barra stated that the automaker will open up testing to nearby roads followed by expansion throughout Detroit.

Chevrolet dealers started selling non-autonomous Bolts in Oregon and California this week. The market will be expanded to Virginia, Massachusetts, and New York in early next year. Around mid next year, the Bolt will have spread nationwide. General Motors has been conducting road testing for self-driving cars for many years, and now it has become a significant push by car manufacturers, technology companies, and auto suppliers to increase the popularity of autonomous cars on the United States roads. Tesla Model X and Model S equipped with full autonomy hardware are under production. The anticipated Model 3 will also have it.

 

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