Team play with a powerful and independent agent: operational experiences and automation surprises on the Airbus A-320.Hum Factors. 1997 Dec; 39(4):553-69.HF
Research and operational experience have shown that one of the major problems with pilot-automation interaction is a lack of mode awareness (i.e., the current and future status and behavior of the automation). As a result, pilots sometimes experience so-called automation surprises when the automation takes an unexpected action or fails to behave as anticipated. A lack of mode awareness and automation surprises can he viewed as symptoms of a mismatch between human and machine properties and capabilities. Changes in automation design can therefore he expected to affect the likelihood and nature of problems encountered by pilots. Previous studies have focused exclusively on early generation "glass cockpit" aircraft that were designed based on a similar automation philosophy. To find out whether similar difficulties with maintaining mode awareness are encountered on more advanced aircraft, a corpus of automation surprises was gathered from pilots of the Airbus A-320, an aircraft characterized by high levels of autonomy, authority, and complexity. To understand the underlying reasons for reported breakdowns in human-automation coordination, we also asked pilots about their monitoring strategies and their experiences with and attitude toward the unique design of flight controls on this aircraft.