A problem with self-driving cars doesn’t have to do with technology but the human body. Some people riding in self-driving autonomous cars experience motion sickness and nausea. Motion sickness is caused by factors that are increased in self-driving cars, according to a new report, “Motion Sickness in Self-driving Vehicles” by Michael Sivak, Ph.D and Brandon Schoettle.
Motion sickness will be more prevalent in self-driving vehicles than in human-driven vehicles, because there conflict between vestibular (balance and spatial orientation) and visual inputs, inability to anticipate the direction of motion and lack of control over the direction of motion.
The frequency and severity of motion sickness is influenced by the activity that the person is doing instead of driving. Thereport calculated the expected frequency and severity of motion sickness in fully self-driving vehicles based on the expected frequencies of different activities
- 6%-10% of American adults riding in fully self-driving vehicles would be expected to often, usually, or always experience some level of motion sickness.
- 6%-12% of American adults riding in fully self-driving vehicles would be expected to experience moderate or severe motion sickness at some time.
- People reading books are more prone to motion sickness than watching video.
A way to reduce motion sickness is to design driverless cars where the passengers can lie completely flat on their backs. For those able to sleep in moving vehicles, sleeping reduces the frequency and severity of motion sickness, as well as being awake with the eyes closed.
Other options to avoid motions sickness are to maximize passengers’ ability to see outside the vehicle, placing video screens straight ahead, keeping seats from swiveling and limiting head motion.
Therefore, it may not be good idea to eat before going for a drive in a self-driving car not eat too much.