Dr. Steve Iley, JLR’s Chief Medical Officer, described the research’s “solid scientific foundation” as having created a solution regardless of an individual’s susceptibility to travel sickness. Young children are most likely to suffer symptoms: “I am particularly excited by the benefits this research can have in making long journeys comfortable and stress-free for families.”
Linking systemsA key member of the research team is Spencer Salter, a JLR engineer who uses comprehensive modeling specifically to achieve pre-emptive solutions within dynamic systems. A further link embraces satellite navigation systems that can support “optimum wellness routes” that take into consideration speed, journey time and distance.
JLR’s wellness score is compiled using biometric sensors to record physiological signals together with motion and dynamics data which together are designed to signal a potential motion sickness event, even before the vehicle occupant will be aware of it. The research work has so far involved some 15,000 miles, enabling the JLR team to establish a baseline driving style as a target for autonomous applications. A particular aim is to minimize steering corrections and unnecessary inputs.
Information correlationSalter said that little had previously been known about causes of motion sickness and how to prevent or reduce it, despite the fact that up to 70% of vehicle occupants are estimated to be affected. What is known is that the problem may occur when a vehicles occupant’s eyes observe information that does not correlate with information sent to the brain via the inner ear, skin, and forces on the body. This happens particularly when reading – something that autonomous-vehicle travel will increasingly allow.
Although not specifically anti-sickness targeted, technology is already available on production cars that can help reduce the likelihood of its manifestation. Salter noted JLR’s capability in this area, which includes multiplicity of seat adjustments, and adaptive dynamics to cope with road-induced low frequency motion.
The first phase of the anti-motion sickness research program is scheduled to be completed by late November and JLR states that the findings to date are already being implemented into further research projects. Continue reading »