Ricardo develops motion sickness technology

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UK firm Ricardo has developed new technology that will minimize the risks of motion sickness in autonomous vehicles, as well as promising benefits for conventionally-driven vehicles, too.

A Ricardo Innovations research team has been investigating the causes and exacerbating factors of kinetosis (motion sickness) and is using this to develop algorithms that can improve ride comfort and help avoid motion sickness.

For all vehicles, the software would be advantageous in informing the optimal specification of suspension to provide the most desirable ride and handling characteristics.

Additionally, for autonomous vehicles, the algorithms could be used with the real-time adaptation of multiple sensory aspects of the cabin environment – control of temperature, lighting and scent – as well as influencing the discretionary path taken in maneuvers such as cornering, stopping, starting and overtaking.

Testing has already been carried out using adult volunteers to help calibrate the kinetosis algorithms, but further data is needed for 4- to 18-year-olds, the cohort likely to benefit most from this technology. To this end, the Ricardo team is working with UK university partners in a larger-scale research program involving the participation of local schoolchildren.

The project, the results of which are expected to be available for algorithm validation later this year, will be tied to the science curriculum. As well as being important in the development of autonomous vehicle control systems, the data obtained will also be extremely valuable in validating the kinetosis algorithms for application in new vehicle design.

This Ricardo technology is already attracting interest from OEMs developing both autonomous cars and conventional premium vehicles, and from those developing Mobility as a Service products.

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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