Car sickness control unit

Who dears comment daddy's driving style? If someone gets sick in a car, it is almost never the driver. However, the passengers suffer only too often. This certainly holds for children, especially when they are seated in the back. The fact that the driver hardly gets sick (due to proper anticipation), makes it for the passengers only more difficult to convince him to drive more comfortably. TNO therefore developed a little gadget to support the driver in adopting a passenger-friendly driving style.

This so-called "car sickness indicator" measures car accelerations in three dimensions, and calculates the nauseating extent of these. A green LED means "good", yellow "caution", and a red LED (possibly accompanied by a beep) signals the driver about "bad" passenger comfort. These calculations are a simplification of a comprehensive six-degrees-of-freedom mathematical motion sickness model that has been developed at TNO in the past ten years. This model has been validated for a large number of conditions using data from the literature and own expertise.


This device is patented, implemented in an operational prototype, and is now ready for commercialisation. Apart from the after market, this idea lends itself for dashboard integration and tour operator management applications.

Technical Summary

The unique TNO model is based on neuro-physiological knowledge of the human vestibular (equilibrium) system. This system plays a crucial role in the aetiology of motion sickness, given the fact that people without functioning organs of balance in the inner ear do not suffer from car sickness, sea sickness, air sickness, or whatever sickness induced by motion.

License - Intellectual Property

WO 2003/068564
Car sickness control unit

License - Stage of Development


License - Proposal

licensing opportunity and research collaboration

License - TNO reference number

Licensing opportunities

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