Plan B for Eliminating Mode Confusion: An Interpreter Display
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
For more than three decades, aviation human factor researchers have analyzed the autoflight system interface (autopilot, autothrottle, flight management system) and articulated its flaws; the design issues are well known. More importantly, autoflight “mode confusion” has contributed to airplane accidents and incidents. A handful of design efforts have produced new interface designs that succeeded in removing or reducing pilot confusion and errors. Despite these efforts, interfaces on the most recent jet transports have changed little, and mode confusion continues to contribute to safety events. The failure to improve interface design is due to economic factors, such as maintaining common type ratings, and reducing certification risk and training costs. This paper reviews previous re-designs as the primary input to a proposed design for an “interpreter” display. The proposed display, implemented as a retrofitted supplementary display, depicts actual autoflight system behavior–What’s it doing now? What will it do next?–in a simple, graphical format. This paper describes the foundational design principles underlying this new display and initial display evaluation work.
Langley Research Center
Randall J. Mumaw. "Plan B for Eliminating Mode Confusion: An Interpreter Display" International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (2021): 693-702. https://doi.org/10.1080/10447318.2021.1890486