Human Factor Issues in Remote Ship Operations: Lesson Learned by Studying Different Domains
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The idea of remote controlling ships for operational and commercial uses has developed beyond concepts. Controlling and monitoring vessels from a distant location requires updating the concept and requirements of shore control centers (SCCs), where human operators control the fleet via cameras, GPS, and many other types of sensors. While remote ship operation promises to reduce operational and maintenance costs, while increasing loading capacity and safety, it also brings significant uncertainty related to both the human-machine and human-human interactions which will affect operations. Achieving safe, reliable, and efficient remote ship operations requires consideration of both technological, cultural, social and human factor aspects of the system. Indeed, operators will act as captain and crew remotely, from the SCC, introducing new types of hardware and software interactions. This paper provides an overview of human factor issues that may affect human-machine and human-human interactions in the course of remote ship operations. In doing so, the literature related to remote operations in the domains of shipping, aerial vehicles, cranes, train transportation, automobiles, and mining is reviewed. Findings revealed that human factor issues are likely to fall into 13 distinct groups based on the type of human interactions that take place in SCCs.