Autonomous car drives 3,400 miles but watch for car sickness

Autonomous car drives 3,400 miles but watch for car sickness

Thereês good news and bad news about autonomous cars this week. The good news is that an Audi Q5 outfitted by Delphi with the latest in active safety technology completed a coast-to-coast 3,400-mile trip, with 99 percent of the drive in fully automated mode.

Delphi engineers collected nearly three terabytes of technology about 30 percent of all the printed material in the Library of Congress. The nine-day trip crossed 15 states and DC. Along the way, the car encountered complex driving situations such as traffic circles, construction zones, bridges, tunnels, aggressive drivers and a variety of weather conditions.

The only times a human driver had to intervene were when traffic was diverted around a construction cone, and another time when traffic was moved to the left lane to avoid a police cruiser on the right shoulder, reported the Associated Press.

A new study by the University of Michigan lays out the bad news that being a small percentage of riders in autonomous vehicles are likely to experience motion sickness. More than a third of Americans say they would pursue activities that increase the likelihood and severity of motion sickness reading, texting, watching movies or TV, playing games or working.

The main factors contributing to motion sickness–conflict between balance and visual inputs, inability to anticipate the direction of motion, and lack of control over the direction of motion –are elevated in self-driving vehicles, the researchers say. As a result, 6 percent to 12 percent of American adults riding in fully autonomous vehicles would be expected to experience moderate to severe motion sickness at some time.

But the researchers said manufacturers can design self-driving vehicles to lessen the likelihood of motion sickness, to include maximizing the visual field with large, transparent windows; mounting transparent video and work displays that require passengers to face forward; and eliminating swivel seats, restricting head motion and installing fully reclining seats.

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