Cockpit Displays of Traffic Information and Pilot Bias in Time-to-Contact Judgments

General aviation pilots typically fly without air traffic control assistance and may make use of new aviation technologies such as the cockpit display of traffic information (CDTI). This tool uses global positioning technology to present accurate position information on surrounding "intruder" aircraft. The pilot can avoid conflicts by estimating the time to contact (TTC) with each intruder, and can determine which aircraft poses the highest risk. Research shows that there is a "distance bias", or an over-reliance on distance information, when pilots make TTC judgments. The objective of this research is to determine the effect of adding features to a prototype CDTI in order to mitigate the distance bias. Perceptual cues and velocity data tags were tested by fourteen general aviation pilots making TTC judgments in a flight simulation experiment. Blinking cues, color-change cues, and no cues were crossed with the presence or absence of velocity data tags. Results indicated that the addition of blinking or color-change cues and velocity data tags benefit pilots in assessing the relative risk of surrounding aircraft. It was also shown that displays featuring cues required a smaller proportion of pilot visual attention allocated to the CDTI. The display features received positive subjective ratings from the pilots.


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  • Accession Number: 01529264
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2014 4:35PM