What do you do when automation fails or reaches its system limits? Do you immediately know what you have to do? Can you immediately take over and carry on with operations as usual? If not, you could be lacking situational awareness.
Automation Myth Busting Paper #1 aims to provide insights into achieving situational awareness as a basis for safe automated railway operations. Automation in rail transport has a significant influence on employees' situational awareness (perception, understanding and anticipation of the situation), which in turn depends on the degree of automation, task characterisation, the design of the human-machine interface and information content.
One decisive aspect for safe operation is the human-centred design of the task and workspace with integrated information as well as regular training and knowledge expansion to enable appropriate situational awareness. Good examples already exist in railways, especially for the visualisation of relevant information considering human and organisational factors and addressing automation myth #1.
This is the first in the Automation Myth Busting Series, an initiative of the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) in collaboration with the German Centre for Rail Traffic Research (DZSF) at the Federal Railway Authority.