Friday, April 10, 2015

A Problem With Self Driving Cars

I'm a huge fan of self driving cars. I think they will make our roads safer, be good for the environment and improve mobility for disabled and elderly people. Oh, and won't it be nice not to worry about designated drivers.

But one scientist pointed out an issue.

I can't read in a moving car. Why? I get horribly motion sick.

And most people will be wanting to do stuff in their self driving car other than stare out the window - that's a good part of the point.

Which means that quite a few people may discover they get car sick when they thought they didn't, or hadn't since they were little kids.

Experts are recommending that designers of self driving cars provide large windows (because looking out the window does help), keep the seats facing forward (some of us can even get queasy on trains if our seats face backwards) and possibly have the seats fully recline (supposedly that helps, although I've never tried it).

This will particularly affect, of course, the subset of people who don't get sick when driving but do as passengers.

It's a minor issue, but one worth thinking of. And one thing that might be helpful is to find other motion sickness drugs than dramamine, which a small but significant percentage of the population can't take (I know. I'm one of them. It makes me worse).