Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Proposed Method for Analysis of Eye Tracking Data from Unmanned Ship Operation

Jon Bernhard Høstmark1,a, Gudbrand Strømmen1,b, Alf Ove Braseth2,c and Magnhild Kaarstad2,d

1Kongsberg Group, Kongsberg Maritime, Norway.

2Institute for Energy Technology, Norway.


Within the maritime domain, there is a focus on applying new technologies to reduce cost, and more recently focusing on environmental sustainability. The use of highly automated and unmanned ships is one such approach. The maritime safety level should not be reduced with the introduction of unmanned remote ship operation and novel technology in the maritime domain. This requires increased knowledge and understanding of how humans perceive information presented through displays in a fully digitalized work environment. Based on this, the paper suggests a method using eye-tracking data to objectively collect and analyze how operators perceive information on displays. The approach is assessed by running scenarios in a simulated environment with navigators and vessel traffic operators. Both information content and the arrangement of information are explored through the approach. The collected eye-tracking data is analyzed and visualized through software and validated against data from participant interviews. This poses a non-intrusive method allowing in-depth post analysis of individual events in a test scenario, without the need to stop and perform e.g., an interview. By using the method, quantitative objective results are obtained, which is valuable for backing up qualitative interview data. The results suggest that the proposed method is promising by enabling quantitative evaluation of visual information accessed by the test participants. Further work should pay attention toward analysis of how individual visual search patterns differ between participants for different test cases. From a safety perspective deeper understanding of multi-asset controls impact on salience and potential tunnel vision is needed.

Keywords: Maritime, Safety, Autonomy, Operation centre, Human factors, Situation awareness, Eye-tracking.

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