A Human-Centered Approach to Automated Ground Route Navigation

Megan L. Mitchell, Andrea K. Webb, Emily Vincent, Laura Major, Christopher D. Abbott, Randy L. Milbert

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Development of navigation systems is usually driven by performance measures such as accuracy, size, weight, power and cost. Unfortunately, sometimes systems meet all technical requirements, but fail to gain user acceptance. This disconnect may result when the system designers do not fully consider the underlying needs of the end user. Human Centered Engineering (HCE) is a complementary discipline that provides techniques for incorporating user needs during requirements definition, design and evaluation of new systems. The purpose of this paper is to provide a case study for HCE techniques applied to a specific navigation problem. Draper Laboratory worked with the US Army to evaluate a new automated route planning technology created by a group of Polaris (previously Primordial) called Ground Guidance. The users were soldiers tasked with planning and executing routes optimized for different goals, such as concealment, speed, or cordons. Currently route planning is accomplished with human optimization using a paper map or a FalconView digital map. During a test event, HCE techniques of contextual inquiry and human-system modeling used to compare the traditional manual processes with the new automated route planning. The first day of the test event included indoor planning activities where users created routes for a mission using different planning technologies (paper map, Falcon View map, Ground Guidance). The second day of the test event included hiking several of the planned routes to understand the how the users executed the planned routes. Data from the contextual observations at the test events were used to build several models. Mapping the sequence steps to Bloom’s taxonomy of critical thinking also explored how the task automation impacted the level of learning and internalization, which are important for mission execution and contingency response. Insights from these analyses led to recommendations for shaping the automated route planning process to better fit the user context and encourage user acceptance.
Published in: Proceedings of the 2015 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation
January 26 - 28, 2015
Laguna Cliffs Marriott
Dana Point, California
Pages: 103 - 113
Cite this article: Mitchell, Megan L., Webb, Andrea K., Vincent, Emily, Major, Laura, Abbott, Christopher D., Milbert, Randy L., "A Human-Centered Approach to Automated Ground Route Navigation," Proceedings of the 2015 International Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation, Dana Point, California, January 2015, pp. 103-113.
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