Command and Control of Unmanned Vessels: Keeping Shore Based Operators in-the-Loop
Paper in proceedings, 2015
Future developments specific to the sustainability of the global shipping and transportation industries need to be revolutionary; whether pressured by economic survival or a result of a natural evolution driven by socio-technical realities. Concepts regarding E-navigation and unmanned vessels are only several technological solutions away from operational realities. Conventional thinking suggests that we augment operator decision making with artificially intelligent support systems. Whether these technologies keep the operator “in-the-loop” or diminish overall situation awareness remains to be seen and is dependent upon the quality and robustness of the Human-Machine-Interface (HMI) to monitor and control the automation systems. Automation of a control system, notwithstanding best of the developer(s)’ intentions, is not fail-proof. A sudden failure of a highly complex system, whose “artificial intelligence” is not transparent to the operator, may prove beyond the cognitive means of a highly stressed (cognitive overloaded) operator to troubleshoot the situation and recover on time. This paper examines the state of operator situation awareness in monitoring several vessels as part of a Shore-based Control Centre, the hub of an autonomous, unmanned vessel concept.
Shore Control Center