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UMTRI: Motion sickness could be problem in autonomous vehicles

Some passengers could get sick while riding in autonomous vehicles, according to the UMTRI
By: Michael Hatamoto | Technology in Vehicles News | Posted: May 9, 2015 1:15 am

Autonomous vehicle development receives a monumental amount of press these days, but there are overlying issues that must be addressed. One such issue is motion sickness, though it's a phenomenon that hasn't received a lot of widespread coverage.




Viewing video and reading are expected to cause motion sickness among some autonomous vehicle passengers. To make matters worse, 37 percent of US adult passengers in fully autonomous vehicles are expected to engage in activities "that increase the frequency and severity of motion sickness."


"Motion sickness is expected to be more of an issue in self-driving vehicles than in conventional vehicles," according to the "Motion Sickness in Self-Driving Vehicles" report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).


Passengers can take medication and engage in behavioral countermeasures, such as sleeping or closing their eyes and resting while commuting.


"The reason is that the three main factors contributing to motion sickness (conflict between vestibular and visual inputs, inability to anticipate the direction of motion, and lack of control over the direction of motion) are elevated in self-driving vehicles. However, the frequency and severity of motion sickness is influenced by the activity that one would be involved in instead of driving."


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