Beyond Levels of Automation: Human System Modes, Levels, Functions and Patterns for an Intelligent Human Systems Integration of Humans and Co-Systems

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Frank FlemischNicolas Daniel HerzbergerMarcel UsaiJoscha Wasser

Abstract: Technological developments like automation, autonomous functions or generative artificial intelligence might contribute solving global challenges like global warming, energy shortage or demographic change, but only if this technology is intelligently integrated with humans, organizations, and the environment, in short: Only with a truly intelligent Human Systems Integration (HSI). Examples for this integration challenge can be found in aviation with increasingly automated aircraft or uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS), on the road with partially and highly automated vehicles, in industry 4.0 with partially autonomous factories, or in defence systems with highly automated or “autonomous” weapon systems.Key concepts that help to structure the complexity of such sociotechnical systems are operation modes e.g., with the example of mode confusion in aviation (e.g., Abbott et al., 1996), levels of automation (LOA, starting with Sheridan et al., 1978, landmark publication by Parasuraman et al., 2000 and SAE, 2021), layers of assistance and automation (e.g., Pacaux-Lemoine & Flemisch, 2019 and Flemisch et al., 2019), and Human Systems Patterns (e.g., Alexander et al., 1977 and Baltzer, 2021).Especially in the discussion about vehicle automation, the perception in the community might be that everything is solved with LOA (e.g., as the SAE, 2021 based on bast, Gasser et al., 2012). On the other hand, with more variation in automation, it becomes increasingly clear that the concept of LOA is very valuable from an engineering perspective, but not sufficiently clear for users without being complemented with other concepts. For human factors and human systems integration (HSI) in aviation, automotive & transportation automation as well as in Industry 4.0, we successfully used LOA together with modes, layers and especially patterns, and matched them with the classical human factors constructs of performance, workload, situation awareness and usability.A key concept for a sufficient understanding of LOA, modes, layers and patterns are models, especially mental models as a representation of the real human-machine system within the cognition of the human or machine actors in the different layers of a system. More precisely, it is crucial to maintain the consistency between levels, layers, modes and patterns, i.e., sufficient consistency of the mental models and, based on this, sufficient situational awareness of all relevant stakeholders. Subsequently, the consistency between capability, authority, control and finally responsibility is important (e.g., Flemisch et al., 2012 and F. Flemisch et al., 2023).

Keywords: Levels of Automation, Automation Modes, Human Systems Integration, Cooperative Systems

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1004516

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