60 per cent of occupants of an autonomous car may experience car sickness

Jul

6

2018

TNO: TNO estimates that approximately 60 percent of the occupants of fully autonomous cars can be affected by motion sickness. The reason is that occupants look more at screens such as those of smartphones and laptops while driving.

TNO expects a significant increase in car sickness due to the arrival of the autonomous car. Human movement scientist Prof. Jelte Bos of TNO and the VU, according to De Telegraaf, is commissioned by a large car manufacturer to investigate the influence of movement on human disorientation in relation to the autonomous car.

Because the driver no longer has to pay attention to traffic in a car that can drive autonomously on the basis of level 5, it will be entertained with films, virtual reality and games, for example. According to Bos, many children in the back seat are already nauseated because they are looking at their smartphone or tablet and this will get worse in the future if all occupants with motion sickness have to deal with moving artificial images. Bos and colleagues wrote about this earlier in the Dutch Journal of Medicine.

Ouren Kuiper of the Vrije Universiteit told De Volkskrant in April that one of the solutions that can prevent motion sickness in the autonomous car consists of higher-level screens that occupants look at. In a test group of which half of the participants looked at a screen at the level of the glove compartment and the other half at a screen at eye level, it appeared that the persons who could look straight ahead became sick less often.

In addition, according to Kuiper, notifications for upcoming movements are possible: “This can be an audible signal, a visual signal or a vibration in the chair.” This is because car sickness arises when the brain becomes entangled by unexpected movements, which do not correspond with the signals from the eyes, organ and muscles about the position of the body.

Makers of autonomous driving systems also work on techniques to prevent motion sickness. This is how Uber thinks of placing moving seats in vehicles.

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