End to car sickness?

Motion sickness, infographic
Combatting motion sickness, infographic
Jaguar E-PACE, front

CAR sickness has affected virtually everyone at some point and now Jaguar Land Rover reckons it has come up with a way to solve the problem.

The company has devised a way to tell if people are feeling unwell on the road and adjust a vehicle's settings to combat motion sickness.

Researchers have created a complex algorithm that calculates a so-called wellness score for driver and passengers and JLR claims it reduces the effects of feeling queasy by at least 60 per cent.

The company says that all Jaguar and Land Rover models are currently designed to combat nausea but the new research takes that one step further - and could come into its own with autonomous vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover has already collected 15,000 miles 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 Spencer Salter, JLR's wellness technology researcher.

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.

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover chief medical officer, said: "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."

Citing the Jaguar E-PACE as an example, JLR says the model already 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.

JLR says the first phase of the research is due to complete this month and the findings are already being implemented into further projects to create the ultimate personalised cabin experience in future vehicles.

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