Self-driving cars are becoming a more actual matter. People may be very excited about reaching their destination by car without having to pay attention to the road. However a new study says that some factors have been overlooked. One of these factors is motion sickness.
Researchers at UMTRI (University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute) have conducted a study which indicates that people who will be using self-driving cars in the future are more exposed to motion sickness than people who drive normal cars. The study estimates that 6 to 10 percent of the self-driving cars passengers will have to deal with moderate to severe motion sickness.
Co-author of the study and director of Sustainable Worldwide Transportation, Michael Sivak, claimed that the problem of motion sickness was not treated with enough attention. According to him this is a very important issue since the ability to enjoy activities which increase motion sickness is precisely one of the benefits of such vehicles.
The researchers involved in the study surveyed over 3.200 adults from 6 different countries, US included. The participants mentioned what they would like to do until they reached their destination if they possessed a self-driving car. The most commonly mentioned activities were watching movies, reading, texting, working and playing games.
When drivers will become passengers they will be able to enjoy all those pleasant activities and will no longer have control over the direction of the motion. Drivers are less exposed to motion sickness compared to passengers precisely because they can anticipate the motion. In the case of self-driving cars everyone is a passenger and consequently will experience motion sickness.
In order to diminish the risk of motion sickness self-driving cars manufacturers are recommended to provide the cars with large windows, fully reclining seats and transparent video displays. Passengers should also be required to sit facing forward. The authors of the study claimed that if self-driving cars would provide a more calm and pleasant ride than conventional cars do the intensity and frequency of motion sickness would be reduced.
If people choose cars which are not provided with such safety measures they could take some appropriate medicine before embarking on a trip, take a nap during the ride or keep their eyes closed or simply wait for the sickness to pass.
Self-driving vehicles are expected to appear on the market in five years from now on. They will contribute to the development of federal and traffic safety regulations.
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