ZF fights travel sickness with AI

July 15, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
ZF fights travel sickness with AI
Summer is here and half of Europe is on holiday. A frequent but unpopular side effect of travelling by car is travel sickness - especially the back seat passengers often suffer from dizziness, headaches and nausea. Together with neurotechnologists, the automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen now tackles this business damaging phenomenon.

ZF wants to solve the problem of travel sickness and goes beyond a purely vehicle-related approach: "We focus on the occupants themselves and their individual driving experience," says Florian Dauth, responsible for activities in the area of Human Centered Vehicle Motion Control at ZF advanced research. "Our goal is to individually diagnose travel sickness and develop measures based on the passenger's current condition.

Together with the Systems Neuroscience & Neurotechnology Unit (SNNU) at the University of Saarland and HTW Saar, the scientific basis for this concept is provided by test person studies conducted in which the physiological reactions of test persons to different driving situations were investigated. "Our joint research with ZF covers areas of neurotechnology, psychophysiology, artificial intelligence, and vehicle dynamics," explains Prof. Dr. Daniel J. Strauss, Director of SNNU.

The travel or motion sickness, in technical terms kinetosis, is caused by a discrepancy in perception: The organ of balance located in the inner ear feels a movement that is not confirmed by other sensory organs such as the eyes - this happens in particular when the passenger looks concentrated at a screen or a book. In this situation, the human body reacts similarly to poisoning. Symptoms range from mild discomfort to severe nausea.

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