August 2021 | 575 words | 2-minute read
Over 70% of people are susceptible to motion sickness. Motion sickness is not an unknown or mysterious ailment — it has been known to humankind since seafaring times, and millions of dollars have been spent in research to overcome its effects in air and space travel. Both over-the-counter medicines and home remedies help to alleviate the problem.
In cars, the simplest way to avoid motion sickness is to look ahead in the distance, drive yourself and avoid eye-intensive activities such as reading or watching a movie.
But as vehicles get increasingly autonomous and move into the realm of being entirely driverless, the answer is not that simple: drivers need not be constantly alert and an activity like viewing the screen may lead to sickness.
Jaguar Land Rover is pioneering software that will reduce motion sickness by adapting the driving style of future autonomous vehicles and providing customers with the most refined and comfortable ride possible.
During the first phase of this project, a personalised ‘wellness score’ was developed which could reduce the impact of motion sickness by up to 60%. In 2020, experts at Jaguar Land Rover’s specialist software engineering facility at Shannon in Ireland implemented that score into self-driving software.
The intelligent software combines 20,000 real-world and virtually simulated test miles to calculate a set of parameters for driving dynamics to be rated against. Advanced machine learning then ensures the car can optimise its driving style based on data gathered from every mile driven by the autonomous fleet.
This technology can then be used to teach each Jaguar and Land Rover vehicle how to drive autonomously, while maintaining the individual characteristics of each model whether it’s the thoroughbred performance of a Jaguar or the legendary capability of a Land Rover. All helping Jaguar Land Rover’s continued development of the ultimate cabin experience in an autonomous, electric and connected future.
Motion sickness is often caused when the eyes observe information different from that sensed by the inner ear, skin or body — commonly when reading on long journeys in a vehicle. Children often complain of this feeling while on winding roads or start-stop traffic situations.
Using the new system, acceleration, braking and lane positioning — all contributory factors to motion sickness — can be optimised to avoid inducing nausea in passengers.
As a result of the project, engineers are now able to develop more refined advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) features on future Jaguar and Land Rover models, such as adaptive cruise control and lane monitoring systems. The in-depth knowledge is helping Jaguar Land Rover design and manufacture capable and advanced vehicles.
Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief medical officer, says, “Mobility is rapidly changing and solving the problem of motion sickness in driverless cars is key to unlocking the huge potential of this technology for passengers who will be able to use the travelling time for reading, working or relaxing.”
Jaguar Land Rover vehicles are already designed to help combat feelings of nausea. Jaguar and Land Rover models offer adaptive dynamics across its range of vehicles which help to remove low frequency motion from the road, which can lead to nausea. By altering the ride settings every 10 milliseconds, this ensures passengers always experience high levels of comfort, while also maintaining the dynamic performance DNA of every Jaguar and Land Rover model.
The pioneering software being developed by Jaguar Land Rover promises to take this forward deep into the future where driverless cars are already an accepted possibility.