Detecting a Single Automation Failure: The Impact of Expected (But Not Experienced) Automation Reliability

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Examine the impact of expected automation reliability on trust, workload, task disengagement, nonautomated task performance, and the detection of a single automation failure in simulated air traffic control. Background: Prior research has focused on the impact of experienced automation reliability. However, many operational settings feature automation that is reliable to the extent that operators will seldom experience automation failures. Despite this, operators must remain aware of when automation is at greater risk of failing. Method: Participants performed the task with or without conflict detection/resolution automation. Automation failed to detect/resolve one conflict (i.e., an automation miss). Expected reliability was manipulated via instructions such that the expected level of reliability was (a) constant or variable, and (b) the single automation failure occurred when expected reliability was high or low. Results: Trust in automation increased with time on task prior to the automation failure. Trust was higher when expecting high relative to low reliability. Automation failure detection was improved when the failure occurred under low compared with high expected reliability. Subjective workload decreased with automation, but there was no improvement to nonautomated task performance. Automation increased perceived task disengagement. Conclusions: Both automation reliability expectations and task experience played a role in determining trust. Automation failure detection was improved when the failure occurred at a time it was expected to be more likely. Participants did not effectively allocate any spared capacity to nonautomated tasks. Applications: The outcomes are applicable because operators in field settings likely form contextual expectations regarding the reliability of automation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Factors
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Aug 2021

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