Assigning a “wellness score” for each occupant is just the first step.
Have you ever experienced motion sickness? Most of us (over 70 percent of people) have at some point or another. And at least one automaker is working on a solution.
Jaguar Land Rover is in the midst of researching what causes motion sickness – already having accumulated 15,000 miles of relevant data – and is developing ways to combat it. That starts with a “wellness score” that its vehicles will assign each vehicle occupant, designed to detect when a driver or passenger will start feeling nauseous from the vehicle's movements before he or she even knows it.
Based on those scores, the vehicle will be able to make adjustments to smooth out the ride and restore the occupants' equilibrium. The adaptive suspension on the Jaguar E-Pace, for example, can adjust its ride every ten milliseconds. That's a hundred times per second. It typically makes those calculations in response to external factors (like road quality), but moving forward, it'll also take the occupants' wellbeing into account.
The E-Pace also has 26 different seat settings to help occupants find the optimal position, and can even adjust the height of the infotainment screen.
That's particularly important since reading while on the move is believed to be a leading cause of motion sickness. “As we move towards an autonomous future where occupants will have more time to either work, 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,” explains Spencer Salter a “wellness technology” researcher at Jaguar Land Rover.
It may be a while longer before JLR can implement its findings, anyone who's ever suffered from motion sickness will be glad to know that someone's working on it.