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Cockpit displays of traffic information and pilot bias in time-to-contact judgments.

Pankok-C Jr.; Kaber-DB
Aviat Space Environ Med 2014 Jun; 85(6):597-604
INTRODUCTION: Pilots are susceptible to over-reliance on distance when making relative time-to-contact (TTC) judgments of surrounding intruders, referred to as "the distance bias." We tested the effect of adding perceptual cues and an information feature to cockpit displays of traffic information to mitigate this bias. METHOD: There were 14 general aviation pilots who participated in a simulated flight scenario and were asked to make relative TTC judgments. Three levels of perceptual cue (blinking, color-change, and no-cue) were crossed with two levels of velocity data tag (present and absent) with identification of the highest risk intruder as a response. RESULTS: Perceptual cues were associated with more accurate high-risk intruder selection (color = 95.95% correct, blinking = 95.98%, no-cue = 87.89%), decreased response time (color = 3.68 s, blinking = 3.19 s, no-cue = 6.08 s), reduced visual attention demand (color = 57% of attention, blinking = 58%, no-cue = 62%), lower workload ratings (color = 28.38/100, blinking = 29.66/100, no-cue = 48.91/100), and higher performance confidence ratings (color = 83.92/100, blinking = 82.71/100, no-cue = 58.85/100) than the no-cue displays. There was no difference between blinking and color cue displays. The data tag was associated with lower response times (present = 4.13 s, absent = 4.50 s) and higher confidence ratings (present = 78.69/100, absent = 71.63/100) than displays without. Displays including the blinking cue, color-change cue, and data tag were preferred over displays that did not include these features (color = 8 pilots, blinking = 6, no-cue = 0). DISCUSSION: The added display features were effective in mitigating the effect of the distance bias on pilot performance measures and received favorable subjective ratings.
Humans; Pilots; Aircrews; Simulation-methods; Behavior; Behavior-patterns; Behavioral-tests; Signal-devices; Color-vision; Visual-aids; Visual-images; Visual-perception; Reaction-rates; Performance-capability; Task-performance; Automation; Information-processing; Industrial-design; Human-factors-engineering; Equipment-design; Author Keywords: cockpit automation; traffic information displays; aircraft pilot performance; human factors in display design
Dr. David B. Kaber, 400 Daniels Hall, 111 Lampe Dr., Raleigh, NC 27695-7906
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008673; M062014
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine
Performing Organization
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina