Motion sickness while travelling in cars affects many people, it would seem.  Just recently, we wrote about Citroen developing special glasses that can help passengers avoid motion sickness and now, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) reports that it has created an algorithm that generates a ‘wellness score’ for each passenger. The initiative is necessary as the unpleasant condition affects over 70% of people but Spencer Salter, wellness technology researcher at JLR, says that that previously ‘little has been known about the causes and how to mitigate them’.

Drawing on its industry-leading motion sickness research, JLR can use the algorithm to automatically personalise a vehicle’s driving and cabin settings to reduce the effects of feeling car sick by up to 60%.

The carmaker has already collected over 20,000 kms of motion sickness data and tested the effects caused by performing a task while in transit, such as checking emails. This has enabled the creation of a baseline driving style for self-driving vehicles to work towards, minimising the need for steering corrections and therefore the risk of motion sickness while passengers work or relax.

“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 Mr. Salter.

Motion sickness is often caused when the eyes observe information that is different from what is sensed by the inner ear, skin or body forces – commonly when reading. The ‘wellness score’ calculates how susceptible individual drivers and passengers are to feeling car sick, using biometric sensors that record physiological signals. Combining this with motion and dynamics data, the vehicle will reliably know when a passenger or driver is becoming motion sick – before they do.

“This cutting-edge research has created a solution that, with its solid scientific foundation, can make travelling enjoyable, regardless of your susceptibility to motion sickness. As a parent of young children, who are most susceptible to car sickness, I am particularly excited by the benefits this research can have in making long journeys comfortable and stress-free for families,” said Dr Steve Iley, JLR’s Chief Medical Officer.

Jaguar or Land Rover vehicles today are already designed to help combat feelings of nausea. The Jaguar E-PACE, for example, has 26 different seat configurations for passengers to find a position that raises the infotainment screen relative to eye level as well as turn on the cooling seat function. Both factors have been proven to significantly reduce the likelihood of motion sickness.

The E-PACE’s Adaptive Dynamics also remove low frequency motion from the road, which can lead to nausea, by altering the ride settings every 10-milliseconds to ensure passengers always experience high levels of comfort.

The first phase of the research completes this month. The findings are already being implemented into further projects across research ensuring JLR can create the ultimate personalised cabin experience for its customers in future vehicles.

[Chips Yap]

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