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Image: Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover has collected 15,000 miles-worth of data on factors affecting motion sickness and created an algorithm to automatically adapt a vehicle’s dynamics and cabin settings. It claims this can reduce the effects – and thus nausea or worse – by “up to 60pc”, through the construction of individual ‘wellness scores’ for driver and passengers.

Motion sickness, said to affect over 70pc of people, is often caused by a mismatch between information from the eyes and what is sensed by the inner ear, skin or body, i.e. while reading or checking an email when in motion. The score is calculated using biometric sensors to record physiological signals, combined with motion and dynamics data, and the settings such as those for adaptive suspension dynamics, seating and screen positions, and cooling or ventilation, can be modified accordingly.

The first phase of the research is completed this month, and one outcome so far is that a ‘baseline driving style’ has been established for self-driving vehicles to minimise the need for steering corrections. Spencer Salter, a ‘wellness research engineer’ at Jaguar Land Rover, said in a statement: “As we move towards an autonomous future where occupants will have more time to either word, read or relax on longer journeys, it’s important we develop vehicles that can adapt to reduce the effects of motion sickness in a way that’s tailored to each passenger.”

Dr Steve Iley, JLR’s chief medical officer, added in a note which will probably resonate with many readers: “This cutting-edge research has created a solution that, with its solid scientific foundation, can make travelling enjoyable, regardless of your susceptibility to motion sickness. As a parent of young children, who are most susceptible to car sickness, I am particularly excited by the benefits this research can have in making long journeys comfortable and stress-free for families.”