Technical Report 2013-012

General Domain Properties in Vehicle Operation: A Comparison between Trains and High-Speed Ferries

Mikael Erlandsson and Anders Jansson

May 2013

This paper focus on decision making in the domain of vehicle driving, and the goal is to find out what train-drivers have in common with officers of high-speed ferries in terms of general domain properties. Such properties may be important to identify because they can say something about what constraints these rather diverse work domains may have in common. Consequently, design ideas within one domain can be transferred to another, bearing in mind that tasks, strategies as well as domain-specific knowledge and worker competencies, still have to be introduced in the final design of any artefact. A new information acquisition method called collegial verbalisation is used to study vehicle drivers of trains and high speed ferries. Central properties of the vehicle operators' work are identified, and a comparison is made between the two very different types of vehicles. Three specific topics from the results are discussed in detail, and some conclusions are made about the generality of them with respect to other domains in transportation. Two of the topics, operators' spatial division and temporal perspective, are also discussed in relation to the concept of situation awareness.

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