Technological aids designed to prevent accidents at sea sometimes have the opposite effect as a contributory factor in collisions and groundings. In a new dissertation from Linköping University in Sweden it is proposed that cognitive and social aspects should be in focus in the design of conning bridges, rather than technology and components.
Margareta Lützhöft, a cognition scientist with several years of experience as a ship’s officer, traveled with fifteen vessels to study work on the bridge. The findings show that advanced technology represents a barrier to what many ship’s officers feel is their main function. “They feel that they have an electronic filter between themselves and reality,” says Margareta Lützhöft.
When a vessel navigates the open sea or in narrow archipelagoes, information from the vessel and the surroundings is of crucial importance when it comes to function and safety. Today conning bridges are stuffed with technological aids, and the trend is to integrate them more and more. But the result is not always to the advantage of the user. There is a superfluity of information, and it is not always well presented. Advanced automation makes it difficult for mates to understand what is happening in the system and when and how to take over and steer manually.
Åke Hjelm | alfa
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