Apple Aims to Cure Car Sickness

Cristhian Hernandez / Unpslash

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be scrolling through your smartphone when you’re driving, but your passengers are probably making themselves unwell as they scan their devices on the move.

Research by Apple suggests that motion sickness is most often caused by a sensory conflict between what someone sees and what they feel. It’s that difference between what your eyes and your gut tell your brain that prompts problems. According to several reports EVs are making car sickness even worse as they also lack audible cues to help passenger gauge speed, while strong regenerative braking can be unsettling.

Studying car sickness has led Apple to develop a new iOS feature called Vehicle Motion Cues. “With Vehicle Motion Cues, animated dots on the edges of the screen represent changes in vehicle motion to help reduce sensory conflict without interfering with the main content,” says Apple. “Using sensors built into iPhone and iPad, Vehicle Motion Cues recognizes when a user is in a moving vehicle and responds accordingly. The feature can be set to show automatically on iPhone, or can be turned on and off in Control Center.”


Vehicle Motion Cues is set to be introduced as part of iOS 18, launched in September, along with an updated version of CarPlay which will feature voice control to make navigating its features easier for drivers without taking their eyes off the road.

While it’s good to see Apple offering solutions for passengers and drivers alike, we can’t help but think they’ve caused the problems in the first place. The best way to avoid both motion sickness and distracted driving? Switch your phone off and pay attention to the road ahead.


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    Amen to the last two sentences. I fear the only way to accomplish this is to program ignitions and phones to preclude one operating while the other is in use.

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