Carsickness-based design and development of a controller for autonomous vehicles to improve the comfort of occupants


Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering, vol.235, no.1, pp.162-176, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


© IMechE 2020.It is anticipated that passengers in autonomous vehicles will be more occupied with in-vehicle activities. Loss of the authority on driving and engaging in non-driving tasks could cause lower predictability of car motions. This decrease in predictability is expected to increase the sensitivity to carsickness. It appears that it is crucial to develop controllers for autonomous driving with the capability of improving passenger comfort by reducing carsickness. In this regard, it can be asked how the motion variables can be used for the minimization of a carsickness-related measure, while the vehicle is required to follow a given path. In this study, an optimal control approach is being proposed to minimize a quantitative measure of carsickness. In order to address carsickness during autonomous maneuvers, the well-known motion sickness dose value formulation in ISO 2631-1 is augmented with horizontal direction motion components to define a performance measure. The performance measure includes the motion sensed in vestibular system rather than the motion occurring in the vehicle itself. Therefore, mathematical model of the vestibular system is included in the design of controller. Effects of acceleration and jerk are included in performance measure simultaneously. Control oriented linear parameter varying vehicle model is developed to design the path following controller. By means of simulation studies in which path following control is implemented, motion sickness dose values of the controlled vehicle are examined. It is shown by a regular lane change test at various speeds that the proposed controller, which seeks the minimization of the motion sickness dose value, achieves a reduction of the acceleration and jerk felt by a passenger, while the vehicle follows the given path.