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Autonomous Vehicle Passengers Getting Motion Sickness

Carmakers may draw inspiration from RV industry for solution.

by on May.10, 2017

Waymo is now offering to let the public check out its autonomous vehicles in Phoenix.

In addition to overcoming all of the negative connotations that self-driving cars already carry, car makers and suppliers are also going to have to find a way to protect passengers in autonomous vehicles from motion sickness.

Jim Hotary, director of xWorks Innovation Center at Faurecia North America, noted during a panel discussion at the annual Wards Auto Interior Conference that motion sickness is definitely a concern in autonomous vehicles.

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“There are a lot people for whom driving themselves is a way to avoid motion sickness,” Hotary said.

System work is needed on the inside of autonomous vehicles to insure the comfort of the users and that includes studying how motion success could affect passenger in a self-driving car, Hotary said.

(Apple gets the nod to test autonomous vehicles in California. Click Here for details.)

Kimberly Clavin of Pillar Technology, who served as the panel’s moderator, noted that she had previously worked in the recreation vehicle industry where motion sickness of passengers in RVs was a significant issue.

Chris Ludwig, senior director of EPIC Experience Team at Harman, the sound system company, said that current surveys indicate that 54% of today’s motorists are interested in self-driving technology but have reservations. “People are interested in autonomous technology but they are afraid of it,” he said.

Harman, however, is moving ahead with technology that could use the vehicle’s sound system to help passengers relax inside an autonomous vehicle.

(Is Amazon also ready to enter the autonomous vehicle field? Click Here for the story.)

But sound systems for all kinds of vehicles are changing and evolving, Ludwig said. For example, Harman is developing system that would allow the motorist our user to download pieces of music that replicate certain venues. For example, it could replicate concert from Carnegie Hall in New York City, he said.

The future design of the interiors of autonomous vehicles also were reflected in the design of students, who participated in the College of Creative Student Design Competition.  In vehicle dining, for example, was elevated away from cup holder and drive in windows to a more formal setting in one of the designs.

Hotary also noted that there has been a subtle shift in emphasis by the world’s carmakers. “For a long time, it was all about the technology.  Now there is more concern about the user experience,” he said.

(To see more about Waymo offering free test rides to the public, Click Here.)

The editors at Wards also honored the “10 Best Interiors” for 2017. The list included the Alfa-Romeo Giulia, Bentley Bentayga, Buick LaCrosse, Honda CR-V, Lexus LC500 Coupe, Lincoln Continental, Maserati Levante and Mazda CX-9, Mini Countryman and Subaru Impreza.

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One Response to “Autonomous Vehicle Passengers Getting Motion Sickness”

  1. Dave says:

    Is there anything the snowflakes can handle?