A study by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle from the University of Michigan suggests that 6% to 12% of Americans riding in self-driving cars can experience motion sickness.
According to the study, intuitively titled Motion Sickness in Self-Driving Vehicles,
three factors cause a greater percentage of people to experience nausea while riding: “conflict between vestibular and visual inputs, inability to anticipate the direction of motion, and lack of control over the direction of motion.”
Basically, when you’re controlling the car yourself, your body anticipates the gravitational forces exerted when you turn the wheel, brake and accelerate. When you’re riding, you don’t have that anticipation and it causes a significant portion of the population to get a little woozy.
“The results indicate that, for example, 6%-10% of American adults riding in fully self-driving vehicles would be expected to often, usually, or always experience some level of motion sickness,” the study notes. “Analogously, 6%-12% of American adults riding in fully self-driving vehicles would be expected to experience moderate or severe motion sickness at some time.”
No word on whether manufacturers are going to offer Dramamine as an option.
And now, enjoy X.