What Can Decrease Motion Sickness in Self-Driving Cars?

The idea of self-driving cars might sound like a really cool concept to you. But the truth is that if you’re a person who suffers from motion sickness regularly—and frankly, even if you aren’t someone who normally gets motion sickness—you could be susceptible to it when riding in an autonomous vehicle.

Because you won’t have control of the vehicle, there’s a good chance you will feel queasy when you are riding around in it as the car makes moves your body isn’t anticipating. So there are several companies that are trying to find solutions for this before it becomes a real problem.

One company that is particularly concerned about this issue is Uber. Uber is hoping to launch an autonomous fleet of vehicles in the future, and in order to make it as successful as possible, they are aiming to combat the motion sickness problem now. According to Engadget, they have created a range of in-vehicle technologies that are designed to distract your brain as you drive in an autonomous vehicle, which should, in theory, prevent motion sickness from setting in. From light bars that will alert you as to your car’s next move to vibrating seats that will take your mind off your car’s motion, the hope is that one or all of the forms of technology will stop you from feeling sick.

This isn’t the only proposed solution to the motion sickness problem, either. While Uber has filed patents for its technology in the hopes of stumbling on a solution of its own, University of Michigan researchers have also filed a patent for a pair of eyeglasses that are designed to disconnect your overall sense of motion from what you actually see. Engadget reports these glasses would essentially allow you to focus on, say, your phone or a book without your peripheral vision sensing movement. That would then allow you to relax without feeling the effects of motion sickness in a self-driving car.

At this time, it’s still unclear which method of preventing motion sickness in autonomous vehicles will ultimately win out. But something needs to be done before self-driving cars become mainstream. Otherwise, there will be many people who won’t be able to take advantage of them and all that they can offer.

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