Quantifying Passenger Susceptibility to Motion Sickness to Guide the Design of Automated Vehicles


Monica Jones, PhD
Assistant Research Scientist, Biosciences, U-M Transportation Institute


January – December 2017


Dave LeBlanc, PhD
Associate Research Scientist, Engineering Systems, U-M Transportation Institute

Byoung-Keon Park, PhD
Assistant Research Scientist, Biosciences, U-M Transportation Institute

Matthew Reed
Research Professor and head of Biosciences, U-M Transportation Institute

James Sayer, PhD
Research Scientist, Human Factors Group; Director, U-M Transportation Institute

Kathleen Sienko, PhD
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Miller Faculty Scholar Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Miller Faculty Scholar Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, U-M College of Engineering

John Sullivan, PhD
Associate Research Scientist, Human Factors Group, U-M Transportation Institute


To develop an experimental platform to evaluate motion sickness susceptibility in a ground vehicle for a range of driving conditions.


This proposal presents a work plan to develop an experimental design that will reliably produce motion sickness symptoms in a passenger vehicle. The approach will evaluate differences in motion sickness susceptibility to different acceleration levels under a driver’s control. The methodology will include simultaneous measurements of vehicle acceleration and the passenger’s psychophysical response during specified driving conditions at Mcity.


We will quantify the motion of the vehicle, passenger response, and the latency of onset and severity of motion sickness and examine the relationships among these factors. The results from this project will augment the sparse literature on the susceptibility of motion sickness in realistic context that closely resembles the experience of traveling in an automated vehicle. Development of a reliable experimental methodology will enable future countermeasures to be evaluated.