They found that when the cars tilt just at the beginning of the curves instead of while they are making the turns, there was no motion sickness. The findings were published online Monday, July 25 in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal.
When a tilting train enters a curve, sensors on the front wheels of the train signal to the remaining cars when they should begin their tilt. In this reactive mode, since the sensors cannot be activated until the first car is in the curve, there is an inevitable delay in the onset of the tilt. In addition, the cars tilt more slowly. The researchers established that the late, slow rise in the velocity of the tilt during the curves coupled with the centrifugal force produced by the turn, causes motion sickness.
In contrast, when the curves were sensed from the geographic position of the train on the tracks, determined by a global positioning system (GPS), the tilts occurred earlier and were faster, and motion sickness was eliminated. In this predictive mode, lateral thrust was also reduced as the train rounded curves, making it much easier to walk in the aisles.
"This is a major breakthrough and a very practical solution to a problem affecting people's everyday lives," said Dr. Bernard Cohen, lead author of the study and Professor of Neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
The Schweizerische Bundeshanen (SBB), the train system in Switzerland that requested this study, serviced 347 million passengers in 2010. The SBB wanted to order new trains that would maximize train speed and passenger comfort. Tilting trains are utilized world-wide to compensate for the centripetal acceleration during turns, allowing the trains to run faster. However, the tilting has also led to motion sickness.
"After seeing the results of the study, the SBB invested 3.2 billion Swiss francs for trains utilizing the results of the new technology that came from these experiments," said Dr. Cohen. "Hopefully we'll see this trend extend to other European and American markets as well."
During the study, the researchers placed angular velocity and lateral acceleration sensors on the front car in a seven-car train as well as on the heads of passengers. Over the course of about two months they used three control modes to evaluate the levels of motion sickness in 200 passengers: an untilted mode, a reactive mode based on the information from the front wheel set, and a predictive mode based on the information from the GPS. Passengers had no motion sickness in the untilted mode, showing that the lateral acceleration itself was not responsible for producing the discomfort. In this mode the train ran more slowly, however. The train ran equally fast in the predictive and reactive modes when it tilted, but passenger comfort was significantly better when the train tilted just at the onset and end of the curves in the predictive mode.
The Mount Sinai team collaborated with scientists from Zurich University Hospital, Brooklyn College of CUNY, SBB, and Alston Schienenfahzeuge AG, a European transport company.
About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 16 institutes. It consistently ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The medical school also ranks third in NIH funding per faculty member. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 16th on its elite honor roll of the nation's top hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Of the top 20 hospitals in the United States, Mount Sinai is one of only 12 who employs a best-in-class integrated business model that seamlessly combines its management, governance and information technology with a medical school. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place.
Jeanne Bernard | EurekAlert!
Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses
24.04.2017 | Indiana University
Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years
24.04.2017 | University of Oxford
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences