5298 Lucid hires former Apple exec amid software struggles with Air sedan

Lucid hires former Apple exec amid software struggles with Air sedan


Lucid Motors has appointed a former Apple Inc. executive, Derrick Carty, as vice president of platform software engineering amid a slow rollout of key software features on the EV startup’s Air sedan.

Carty’s responsibilities at the newly created post include advanced driving assistance systems, audio, embedded software, and systems architecture, Lucid said a news release.

“Carty brings decades of global experience in software development and user interface expertise to Lucid, including 23 years with Apple, and most recently as a consultant for Lucid’s infotainment software team,” the automaker said.

Carty will report to Michael Bell, Lucid’s senior vice president of digital.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Carty joined Lucid in June and previously worked at his consulting firm, Carty Consulting. Prior to that, he held posts as director and senior director at Apple.

“Derrick’s wealth of experience with systems architecture and his ability to lead teams that create customer-friendly, easy-to-use software interfaces is crucial as we continue to roll out new Lucid Air features via our over-the-air software updates,” Bell said in the release.

Carty holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in computer science, Lucid said.

Lucid’s Air sedan, which launched last year from the automaker’s new factory in Arizona, has received strong praise from auto reviewers for its power, comfort, handling, range and efficiency.

However, there also have been complaints from reviewers and early buyers concerning the six-figure sedan’s in-house software as being slow, glitchy and incomplete.

“Lucid seems to have whiffed it when it comes to the Air’s in-car tech and driver aids,” Edmunds said in a review on its website. “Our test car was plagued by persistent Bluetooth connection errors on both iPhone and Android devices.”

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Edmunds also noted Lucid’s delays incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto software, which mirror smartphone applications like music, navigation and podcasts onto a vehicle’s infotainment screen.

Lucid, which has been regularly updating its vehicle software through its over-the-air capability, has said CarPlay and Android Auto will be coming this year along with other improvements.

YouTube content creator Jon Rettinger, who was an early buyer of the limited-run Air Dream Edition in December, announced last month that he had sold the sedan despite high praise for it overall.

“The performance was nuts, the luxury was incredible, the build quality was outstanding,” Rettinger told his 1.6 million subscribers on YouTube. But he also reported software issues during his ownership.

“I’ve mentioned that the software stuff has not been as incredible as I would have liked,” Rettinger said. But his reason for selling the Air, he added, was that he had taken delivery of an EV pickup from another California EV startup, Rivian Automotive Inc., and had to choose between the two.

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