Researchers at the University of Michigan have patented a system that could use glasses or a headset to prevent a disconnect between your sense of motion and what you see. The approach would use a set of sequentially activated light pipes that would imitate the movement of the autonomous vehicle in your peripheral view, giving your body a frame of reference while freeing you to check your phone without getting sick.
The technology could be embedded into the car itself, but the nature of the design makes it portable. Uber’s recent patent application for a similar concept relied on sensory input that demanded non-wearable gear and was more about signaling intentions and offering distractions than mimicking the car itself.
Although the implementation of this technology is not guaranteed, researchers are planning to contact automakers and suppliers to turn this into a shipping product. The University noted that roughly half of adults get queasy just by reading a book as a passenger — even more people could feel sick in driverless cars. If the technology goes mainstream, many designs and inventions like this would become vital.