Human-Machine Interface Considerations for Design and Testing in Distributed Sociotechnical Systems
Licentiatavhandling, 2015

The increasing concerns for safety and environmental sustainability create demands on the development of future maritime transportation strategies. One way to meet these demands is the concept of autonomous unmanned vessels for intercontinental voyages. As automation is being introduced onboard and watch keeping operations being migrated to the shore, there is a risk introducing new human factor issues among the various stakeholder groups and add to the complexity of the actors’ roles. This licentiate was based on the context of an EU research project MUNIN (Maritime Unmanned Ship through Intelligence in Networks) about remote monitoring and controlling autonomous unmanned ships where the bridge and engine control room were moved from the ship to a land based control station. Human Machine Interface, as a mediating artefact in the complex system to bridge automation/engine control is of importance for situation awareness, reliability, efficiency, effectiveness, resilience and safety. The purpose of the thesis is to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of Human Machine Interface in a distributed complex system by exploring the experiences of the human agents during the designing and testing phases of a designed for purpose Human Machine Interface. The results reveal prominent human factor issues related to situation awareness and automation bias within such a complex distributed sociotechnical system, which sheds light on the design considerations of Human Machine Interface. Loss of presence can lead to critical perceptual bottlenecks which could negatively impact upon the operators; the organizational factors also greatly shape individual and team performance. It indicates that the contextual factors in the distributed sociotechnical system must be accommodated by the interface design through a holistic systemic approach. The Human Machine Interface shall not only support data visualization, but also the process and context in which data are utilized and understood for consensus decision-making.

Automation Bias

Human Machine Interface

Situation Awareness


Maritime Transportation

Distributed Sociotechnical System

Human Factors

Decision Making

sal Gamma i Hus Svea, Forskningsgången 4 Campus Lindholmen, Göteborg.
Opponent: Dr. Anthony Smoker


Yemao Man

Chalmers, Sjöfart och marin teknik, Nautiska Studier

Seeking harmony in shore-based unmanned ship handling – From the perspective of human factors, what is the difference we need to focus on from being onboard to onshore?

5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics and the Affiliated Conferences, Krakow, Poland, 19-23 July 2014. Advances in Human Aspects of Transportation: Part I. Edited by Neville Stanton, Giuseppe Di Bucchianico, Andrea Vallicelli, Steven Landry.,; (2014)p. 231-239

Paper i proceeding

Command and Control of Unmanned Vessels: Keeping Shore Based Operators in-the-Loop

18th International Conference on Ships and Shipping Research,; (2015)p. 612-619

Paper i proceeding

From desk to field - Human factor issues in remote monitoring and controlling of autonomous unmanned vessels

Procedia Manufacturing,; Vol. 3(2015)p. 2674-2681

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Informations- och kommunikationsteknik




Hållbar utveckling



Tillämpad psykologi



Människa-datorinteraktion (interaktionsdesign)

Datorseende och robotik (autonoma system)



sal Gamma i Hus Svea, Forskningsgången 4 Campus Lindholmen, Göteborg.

Opponent: Dr. Anthony Smoker

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