Jaguar Land Rover is working on defeating motion sickness so that their self-driving cars will be the most comfortable.
It looks like the scientists and engineers at Jaguar Land Rover are very interested in not just making self-driving cars that can actually function safely, but also ensure the most comfortable ride for their passengers. Their latest mountain to climb is motion sickness--an affliction that affects up to 70% of people, according to JLR.
Motion sickness typically occurs when the body’s inner ear senses motion without the eyes actually seeing any motion happening. This most happens in cars when a passenger is trying to read a book or do something other than watch the trees pass by on the highway.
In order to conquer motion sickness, Jaguar Land Rover is developing a system that can tell if the driver feels unwell and adjusts the vehicle’s driving dynamics and cabin settings to compensate. They’ve already collected 15,000 miles of motion sickness data, and plan to collect much more during development.
"As we move towards an autonomous future where occupants will have more time to either work, read or relax on longer journeys, it's important we develop vehicles that can adapt to reduce the effects of motion sickness in a way that's tailored to each passenger,” said JLR engineer Spencer Salter.
To determine how “well” someone is doing, JLR developed a “wellness score” based on data collected from biometric sensors. If the system detects someone is feeling a little queasy, the car will adjust its suspension, stability control, and cabin comfort settings to try and make them feel better.
So far JLR has been able to improve people’s wellness scores by 60% using their system.
This isn’t the first time Jaguar Land Rover has thought about motion sickness. Certain features on the E-Pace crossover, such as the seat height, suspension, and vented seats, specifically try to increase passenger comfort to reduce motion sickness.
Although it might seem like a minor issue, motion sickness could become a real problem in race for autonomous vehicles. Passengers will likely be looking at phones, playing games, or reading books while in transit instead of looking out their windows, which is a surefire way to feel unwell on bumpy roads.