An evaluation of low-level automation navigation functions upon vessel traffic services work practices
Journal article, 2020

The Sea Traffic Management (STM) Validation Project is a European-based initiative with ambitions to improve maritime safety and efficiency through information sharing in real time. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the “STM services,” which can be categorized as low-level automated functions designed to improve information exchange between ship and shore. Full-scale simulated scenarios were developed and tested on 16 professional vessel traffic service (VTS) operators comparing VTS operations as they are today with the added STM functionality. Data collection involved observations which assessed the frequency and type of interactions between ships and VTS, followed by questionnaires to provide an overall assessment of the user experience. The results indicate that the frequency and method of communication patterns between VTS operators and ships will be affected by the integration of the STM services. Additional access to navigational information could change the role of VTS operators in traffic situations compared with traditional operations. This paper discusses the findings from a socio-technical systems perspective while also addressing the individual STM services and their potential impact on VTS operations. This research provides valuable information for European VTS centers that could be affected by the implementation of e-Navigation and, specifically, the STM services.

User experience



Vessel traffic services

Socio-technical system

Technology integration


Katie A Aylward

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Anders Johannesson

The Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA)

Reto Weber

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Scott Mackinnon

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Monica Lundh

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs

1651-436X (ISSN) 1654-1642 (eISSN)

Vol. 19 3 313-335

Subject Categories

Human Aspects of ICT

Information Science

Computer Systems



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2/4/2022 2