Evaluation of Information Quality and Automation Visibility in Information Automation on the Flight Deck

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Dorneich, Michael
Dudley, Rachel
Rogers, William
Letsu-Dake, Emmanuel
Whitlow, Stephen
Dillard, Michael
Nelson, Erik
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Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
The Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering teaches the design, analysis, and improvement of the systems and processes in manufacturing, consulting, and service industries by application of the principles of engineering. The Department of General Engineering was formed in 1929. In 1956 its name changed to Department of Industrial Engineering. In 1989 its name changed to the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering.
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An empirical study was conducted to evaluate human factors issues related to the automation visibility and information quality of an information automation system. Information automation is responsible for the collection, processing, analysis, and presentation of information to the flightcrew. Previous analysis had identified a set of characteristics particularly applicable to aircraft flight deck information automation and associated human factors issues. Air transport pilots interacted with an example information automation system in ways that allowed investigation of the information automation characteristics of automation visibility and information quality. The evaluation found that poor information quality appeared to be difficult for participants to detect, even when they were presented with the highest automation visibility level. In the times that they did not successfully compensate, participants tended to over-trust the automation, so when information was missing and they were under high workload, they chose the top plan suggested by the automation even though it was not the truly best plan. Trust in automation was reduced by low information quality, but compensated for by increased automation visibility.

Copyright Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2015. Posted with permission.