Study: Motion-sickness pretty much guaranteed with self-driving cars

Study: Motion-sickness pretty much guaranteed with self-driving cars
Google self-driving car. (Image: General Physics Laboratory via Observer, Flickr)

[Ed. – Not the most important reason to say no to them, but it’s up there.]

Mr. Sivak and his co-researcher Brandon Schoettle looked at the three main factors that cause motion sickness (conflict between vestibular and visual inputs; inability to anticipate the direction of motion; and lack of control over the direction of motion) and determined that they are elevated in self-driving vehicles.

“All three factors, to varying degrees, are more frequently experienced by vehicle passengers than by drivers, who rarely experience motion sickness,” they wrote in their report.

It’s become evident that self-driving cars will replace traditional cars in the future, and when this happens, all adults (who are most prone to motion sickness) will be passengers at all times. Mr. Sivak clarified that being a passenger in an autonomous vehicle will be quite different than riding along in a train or other mode of public transportation, for, unlike trains, self-driving cars will be subject to more lateral acceleration/deceleration as well as longitudinal acceleration/deceleration that is drastically less smooth. The small windows won’t help either.

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