Motion sickness is a difficulty that autonomous driving will face. It usually takes place when passengers look inside the vehicle and thus see a fixed environment, while their bodies feel movement. Reading or interacting with a smartphone, for example, while riding in a car can cause motion sickness. Nevertheless, it is important that passengers in an autonomous car can go about their business without worrying about the road. Automated driving should therefore be careful not to worsen this sensation for those subject to it, or even, if possible, to reduce its intensity. Jaguar Land Rover are working on it.
JLR first established a “feel-good score” to assess the level of motion sickness that a given drive might or might not cause, using biometric sensors that record physiological signals. This score had already been used by JLR, in particular to adapt the interiors of their cars to minimise the risk of motion sickness.
Engineers then assessed the feel-good score over 32,000 km of real and virtually simulated driving. Through a machine learning process, the system would allow an autonomous car to adapt its driving based on the data collected.
The technology can be used to teach each Jaguar and Land Rover vehicle to steer independently, while retaining the unique characteristics of each model.
As with all other cars and in order to control body movements in three dimensions, autonomous cars will also have to present an effective suspension and damping system to ensure a good level of comfort while limiting motion sickness. On this point, Jaguar Land Rover highlight their Adaptive Dynamics system which adjusts the continuously controlled suspensions to control roll and pitch.