Cockpit Automation. Still Struggling to Catch Up Chapter uri icon


  • Over the past 20 years, progress has been made toward this goal but surprisingly many issues are still unresolved. New ones are emerging as a result of the increasing complexity and volume of air traffic operations and the introduction of yet more automated systems that are not well integrated. The human factors profession has "caught up" in the sense that a large body of research has improved our understanding of (breakdowns in) the interaction between pilots and automated flight deck systems, such as the Flight Management System (FMS) or the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). Also, promising solutions to some known problems in the form of improved design, training, and procedures have been proposed and tested. This chapter aims to summarize this work and provide an update of the existing knowledge base on issues related to the design and use of cockpit technologies. Different levels and capabilities of automated systems are reviewed. Next, breakdowns in pilot-automation interaction are discussed, both in terms of research methods that were used to identify and analyze problems and with respect to the nature of, and contributing factors to, observed difficulties with mode awareness, trust, and coordination. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Ferris, T., Sarter, N., & Wickens, C. D.

citation count

  • 18

Book Title

  • Human Factors in Aviation

publication date

  • December 2010