Ricardo Innovations research team has been investigating the causes and exacerbating factors for kinetosis and is using this to develop algorithms that can be used to improve ride comfort and 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 manoeuvres 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 programme involving the participation of local schoolchildren –carefully monitored, of course, in accordance with stringent ethical and safeguarding standards.