Uber have been up to a whole lot recently, far from causing the usual level of controversy they’re used to. Not only have they recently signed a deal with Volvo supplying the Taxi/Tech/Scandal giant with thousands of driverless-ready vehicles, but a recent patent has shown something else has been in the pipeline to combat a potential future concern.
For those amongst us who are still unlucky enough to suffer from motion/travel sickness, a driverless future opens up a Pandora’s box of issues. Commutes and long journeys without the need to concentrate on the road - in theory, anyway - frees you up to any number of activities; checking your emails, putting the finishing touches on that presentation, or maybe simply just having a read and a relax before the working day kicks off in earnest.
However, motion sickness sufferers will know that if you are doing literally anything other than staring out the front window, not talking and not moving - the nausea starts to set in. And with nothing to do once the cars start taking care of themselves, car journeys start to become more boring than ever.
Uber however, seem like they have our backs on this one. In a patent filed on the 2nd of November, the techno-boffins up at Uber have proposed a system that would trick your eyes and brain into thinking that they are not moving through the use of vibrating seats, gentle breezes from the air-con system when and flashes of lights and feedback from learned motions that an uncomfortable passenger would make while shifting in their seat. These would all occur when certain actions are being taken, such as braking, cornering or accelerating so unpleasant sensory sensations are lessened. Therefore, making it much less likely that you’ll chuck up your weetabix before you reach the office doors.
Of course, this is just a patent. The practicality of the technology and the cost could be years down the line, but we think we speak for all motion sickness sufferers when we say; god speed Uber, we're feeling a wee bit queasy.