Jaguar Land Rover Cuts That Carsick Feeling in Self-Driving Cars

The automaker believes it has figured out how to cut that nauseated feeling by 60 percent, mainly by making a few changes to ride and lane centering.

 

  • Jaguar Land Rover is working on making sure self-driving vehicles don’t make riders queasy, a problem autonomous vehicles are known to have.
  • JLR’s research has determined that gradual starts and stops and smooth cornering can both reduce the chance of motion sickness.
  • The automaker says its new system will reduce motion sickness by 60 percent.
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It’s no secret that many drivers get carsick when not behind the wheel. You’re fine while controlling a vehicle, but as soon as you sit in that passenger seat and the roads get a little curvy, your body gets a bit confused and makes you ill.

If and/or when autonomous vehicles start driving us around town, the issue of motion sickness is expected to be more common. Drivers used to being in control behind the wheel are more likely to succumb to a seasick feeling when what they see doesn’t quite line up with what their body—and, most important, their inner ear—senses. Jaguar Land Rover has been working on software to judge which driving conditions lead to motion sickness so that they can be reduced in self-driving cars.

The automaker has come up a Wellness Score that it will now apply to its self-driving software. The higher the score, the less likely you’ll get sick. According to JLR, the system can reduce the impact of motion sickness by up to 60 percent. To figure out the dynamics of the driving that lead to nausea, the automaker used 200,000 real-world and simulated test miles to calculate the best way for a vehicle to drive in various situations.

The scoring system for each task shows how likely a person will get nauseous. What Jaguar Land Rover learned (and can be applied to your own driving for the benefit of your passengers) is that gradual acceleration and braking and smoother cornering can reduce the chances of someone getting sick.

What JLR plans to do about is to refine its driver-assistance technology, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping systems, so that they are less likely to induce nausea in the 70 percent of the population who experience it. The automaker says it already offers “adaptive dynamics” across the lineup, altering ride settings every 10 milliseconds to “remove low-frequency motion” during driving.

So in the future when that Jaguar robo taxi picks you up, you might not have to worry if it’s going to be zipping around corners and blasting off from stoplights and potentially making you sick. Instead, it should be a smooth and vomit-free ride.