Ricardo Latest to Claim Cure for AV Motion Sickness

Renowned automotive engineering company Ricardo is the latest to claim a solution to cure the risk of motion sickness in driverless cars.

US start-up ClearMotion and Jaguar Land Rover are also working on systems to combat a problem that affects young passengers more than adults. AVs are thought to be particularly prone to promoting motion sickness, or kinetosis, because passengers will have more time to work, read from a screen, watch a movie or hold a conversation while in motion, perhaps even while seated in a swivelled, side- or rear-facing chair – all functions likely to trigger sickness.

Kinetosis is thought to be the result of a disconnect between the motion as experienced by the inner ear and what the eyes are seeing. Children and teenagers are thought to suffer the most from kinetosis because development of the central nervous system tends to lag behind physical growth, giving an even greater perceived mismatch.

Ricardo Innovations’ research team is attempting to develop algorithms to be employed by software informing the optimal specification of suspension to provide the most desirable ride and handling characteristics. For autonomous vehicles, the algorithms could be used with the real-time adaptation of multiple sensory aspects of the cabin environment, controlling temperature, lighting and aroma, as well as influencing the discretionary path taken in maneuvers such as cornering, stopping, starting and overtaking.

The company says further testing is needed for four to 18-year-olds who would benefit most from the technology and is currently with UK university partners in a larger-scale research program involving the participation of local schoolchildren.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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