Queasy does it

With more and more people expected to use screens in their autonomous cars, engineers are working hard to eliminate a negative consequence of this – motion sickness.

Experts predict between six and 12% of us will suffer from motion sickness in an autonomous vehicle. Motion sickness is caused when the images we see don’t match the movement we feel. That’s why reading a book or watching a video while a passenger in a car can make us feel queasy.

However, driving simulator technology from UK company Ansible Motion could help lead to a solution. Called ‘Driver in the Loop’, the simulator enables designers to test different components and conditions virtually – changing things like the shape of the windows, the vibrations from different road surfaces, sound levels and the car’s suspension. By swapping these components around designers can see what combination gives the smoothest ride.

Ansible Motion’s technical liaison Phil Morse said, ‘Our own simulation methodology, by default, inserts a layer of controllable sensory content for motion, vision, haptic feedback, and so on. This can be a useful way to explore human sensitivities while people are engaged in different tasks inside a car. And then the understanding of these sensitivities can wrap back around and inform the real vehicle design.’