Self driven cars may seem like the perfect way to improve mobility and at the same time, save energy and make roads safer, but it could also increase the risk of motion sickness for certain individuals, the findings of a new study have revealed.
For the study, the researchers considered more than 3200 individuals from the US and 5 other countries and asked them about the activities they would usually do while sitting in a fully self driving vehicle.
They found that around one-third of the Americans said that they would either read, text, watch movies or play games, or even work- all of which tend to increase the likelihood and severity of motion sickness.
More than half of the Indians, around 40 percent study subjects from China and nearly 30 percent of those from Great Britain, Japan and Australia also preferred these activities while sitting in such a vehicle.
The researchers found that approximately 12 percent of American adults who rode a fully self driven vehicle experienced moderate to severe motion sickness at some time, and these numbers were similar in residents from India, Japan, Australia, China and Great Britain as well.
“Motion sickness is expected to be more of an issue in self-driving vehicles than in conventional vehicles,” the researchers said. “The reason is that the three main factors contributing to motion sickness – conflict between vestibular (balance) and visual inputs, inability to anticipate the direction of motion and lack of control over the direction of motion – are elevated in self-driving vehicles. However, the frequency and severity of motion sickness is influenced by the activity that one would be involved in instead of driving.”
The researchers recommend getting engaged in activities that do not usually cause motion sickness while riding in a self driving vehicle- such as watching the road, sleeping or talking on the phone.
They also suggest the manufacturers to design self driving vehicles in a way so as to reduce the risk of motion sickness and maximize the visual area with larger windows and possibly restrict head motion and install fully reclining seats as well.