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How a ship´s bridge knows its position - ECDIS assisted accidents from a contemporary human factors perspective

Nielsen, Mads Ragnvald LU (2016) FLMU06 20162
Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Abstract
The technological artifacts used in ship navigation have undergone substantial changes during the last decades, and real-time digital navigation is a reality with the introduction of the ECDIS. Despite the obvious merits of this new navigation mode, and the imagined improvement in safety that it theoretically should bring, ECDIS has in recent years been associated with several accidents. The term ECDIS assisted accidents has emerged in official accident investigation reports and is widely used among the applied technology community as well as having led to the term reverberating the RADAR assisted accidents that the maritime industry has used following the introduction of the RADAR. Despite the focus on the causal contribution from the... (More)
The technological artifacts used in ship navigation have undergone substantial changes during the last decades, and real-time digital navigation is a reality with the introduction of the ECDIS. Despite the obvious merits of this new navigation mode, and the imagined improvement in safety that it theoretically should bring, ECDIS has in recent years been associated with several accidents. The term ECDIS assisted accidents has emerged in official accident investigation reports and is widely used among the applied technology community as well as having led to the term reverberating the RADAR assisted accidents that the maritime industry has used following the introduction of the RADAR. Despite the focus on the causal contribution from the interplay between the ECDIS and the navigator, the conclusions in the official accident investigation reports are predominantly directed towards the abilities of the ECDIS operator to use the equipment properly, and to a lesser extent on the features of the ECDIS. The reports do not at all investigate how the equipment could have helped navigators, by offering better support in reaching their contextual goals, i.e., to remain in control of the ship and to maintain safe navigation. Parallel accounts emanating from the applied community of ship navigation seem to suggest that functioning of the ECDIS is far from perfect, and at times is considered suboptimal by navigators.

The ambition driving this thesis work was to explore these second stories about navigation with ECDIS, based on operator experiences, in order to gain leverage for new ways to inform future development and design of ECDIS, which to a higher degree would need to take into account the contextual conditions and demands that operators experience in the field of practice, and thereby to minimize the gap between how designers, and other remote stakeholders, imagine ECDIS operations, and how these actually play out.

Naturalistic research was carried out by attending three ships ́ bridges while the ships were operating. Insights were gained into what sometimes make work difficult during navigation by ECDIS. The findings were juxtaposed with information found in three official accident accounts of ECDIS assisted accidents, and finally the results were discussed based on a theoretical framework based on contemporary human factors and systems safety research literature, including Cognitive Systems Engineering. Thus, it was concluded how the methods applied in this thesis work, and its findings, could be useful to future ECDIS design and development. (Less)
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author
Nielsen, Mads Ragnvald LU
supervisor
organization
course
FLMU06 20162
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
engineering, cognitive systems, Human and technology interaction, accident prevention, systems safety, interaction design, safety by design FLMU06
language
English
id
8895474
date added to LUP
2016-12-12 13:19:35
date last changed
2016-12-12 13:38:12
@misc{8895474,
  abstract     = {The technological artifacts used in ship navigation have undergone substantial changes during the last decades, and real-time digital navigation is a reality with the introduction of the ECDIS. Despite the obvious merits of this new navigation mode, and the imagined improvement in safety that it theoretically should bring, ECDIS has in recent years been associated with several accidents. The term ECDIS assisted accidents has emerged in official accident investigation reports and is widely used among the applied technology community as well as having led to the term reverberating the RADAR assisted accidents that the maritime industry has used following the introduction of the RADAR. Despite the focus on the causal contribution from the interplay between the ECDIS and the navigator, the conclusions in the official accident investigation reports are predominantly directed towards the abilities of the ECDIS operator to use the equipment properly, and to a lesser extent on the features of the ECDIS. The reports do not at all investigate how the equipment could have helped navigators, by offering better support in reaching their contextual goals, i.e., to remain in control of the ship and to maintain safe navigation. Parallel accounts emanating from the applied community of ship navigation seem to suggest that functioning of the ECDIS is far from perfect, and at times is considered suboptimal by navigators.

The ambition driving this thesis work was to explore these second stories about navigation with ECDIS, based on operator experiences, in order to gain leverage for new ways to inform future development and design of ECDIS, which to a higher degree would need to take into account the contextual conditions and demands that operators experience in the field of practice, and thereby to minimize the gap between how designers, and other remote stakeholders, imagine ECDIS operations, and how these actually play out.

Naturalistic research was carried out by attending three ships ́ bridges while the ships were operating. Insights were gained into what sometimes make work difficult during navigation by ECDIS. The findings were juxtaposed with information found in three official accident accounts of ECDIS assisted accidents, and finally the results were discussed based on a theoretical framework based on contemporary human factors and systems safety research literature, including Cognitive Systems Engineering. Thus, it was concluded how the methods applied in this thesis work, and its findings, could be useful to future ECDIS design and development.},
  author       = {Nielsen, Mads Ragnvald},
  keyword      = {engineering,cognitive systems,Human and technology interaction,accident prevention,systems safety,interaction design,safety by design FLMU06},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {How a ship´s bridge knows its position - ECDIS assisted accidents from a contemporary human factors perspective},
  year         = {2016},
}