Lucid Motors and Local Motors on the wildly different paths each is taking to change the way we look at vehicles

Peter Rawlinson (Lucid Motors) and Jay Rogers (Local Motors) at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017

Lucid Motors and Local Motors. Two companies, both looking to shake up how the world thinks about vehicles and mobility — but each one is trying to take an entirely different route to get there.

Lucid wants to build a luxury electric sedan (driverless, eventually) by tapping a team of 300 hand-picked experts in the field; Local is building driverless shuttles via the “most distributed team you can imagine,” with a community of more than 30,000 individuals contributing their brainpower to everything from autonomous driving systems to drivetrain design.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of each approach? And is now the right time for this?

At TechCrunch Disrupt NY, Darrell Etherington sat down with Lucid Motors CTO Peter Rawlinson and Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers to talk about how and why it’ll all come together.

How, for example, does Local keep its widespread community focused on the common goal?

“Believing in the power of the crowd is something you either do or you don’t. If you believe in it, you ride the lightning, ” says Rogers. “You’ll always get people who contribute junk; then you have people who come in and simply contribute genius. Managing it is about maintaining a workforce of team members who are focused on the community and setting a standard for each area — whether it’s autonomy, or drives, or electrification, or whether it is crash energy, or any of the parts of a vehicle, we focus our community members down into those areas and start from there.”

But at Lucid, says Rawlinson: “We… have a very different approach. I think it’s a wonderful thing, but we believe in everyone under the same roof with a clarity and focus and vision on a transformative product”

Meanwhile, Lucid confirmed that they’re still targeting 2019 for their first commercial product, while Local notes that they’ll deliver “25 vehicles to Denmark that are level four autonomous this year” (although, as shuttles, ones that won’t go quite as fast as other things on the road).

The entire interview is worth watching — particularly if electric vehicles and self-driving cars are your thing.