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8 Research Needs SO M MARY Marine transportation research is largely focused on development of high- technology systems. Research literature on the marine navigation and piloting system, and on human and organizational systems in marine transportation, is virtually nonexistent; the information that is available is very limited and dated. There is no systemic or cohesive approach to research and development for navigation and piloting technology, aside from the Coast Guard's longstanding efforts to continually update and improve short range aids to navigation. No research program concentrates on human systems or navigation and piloting safety. Specific research is needed on marine safety systems, waterways manage- ment, navigation and piloting technology, port-state versus flag-state policy, nav- igation and piloting practices, and human systems. Although research needs cross missions of various agencies, the Department of Transportation has the capabil- ity to coordinate a cooperative research program for marine transportation. The Department of Transportation has the requisite agency missions, research capa- bilities, and ongoing navigation-technology research sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard and Maritime Administration. INTRODUCTION This chapter builds on the analysis of the marine navigation and piloting system and gaps in the state of practice presented in the preceding chapters. It is a compendium of research implications from the earlier chapters. 297

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298 MINDING THE HELM THE MARINE TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT While considerable research and development is in progress on advanced ship, navigation, and vessel traffic service (VTS) systems, the focus is principal- ly on developing the technology rather than its application and human systems implications. Historically, most marine navigation and piloting research can be characterized as primarily directed at the development and acquisition of hardware (and more recently, software); lacking a systems perspective to guide funding, acquisition, or evaluation of research programs; reliant on inadequate or inappropriate data, notably Coast Guard marine casualty data, for underlying empirical support (these data are incomplete; often inappropriate to the issues being investigated, and in some cases, misleading); and exhibiting little intra- or interagency coordination and seldom leveraging related aerospace and defense research and development (Grey and Krop, 1979~. The marine industry is almost bereft of a research literature that address the systems impacts of organizational processes, safety (in a quantitative or qualita- tive fashion), risk, and human systems. This is a major gap that severely con- strains and complicates analysis and determination of methods for improving navigation and piloting. In addition to these historical factors, there are two major difficulties with any plan to develop a research program that addresses navigation and piloting safety: 1. the lack of a cohesive research program within the Coast Guard (GAO, 1993a', particularly with respect to research on navigational and piloting safety and human systems; and 2. the lack of any research program, aside from that of the Coast Guard, that is focused on navigational and piloting safety. The first difficulty results in a lack of consistent, concentrated attention on safety and human factors issues in navigation and piloting except when external events brings public scrutiny on them. The second difficulty results in an over- extended agency (the Coast Guard) with limited resources to devote to naviga- tion and piloting safety matters. Meanwhile, other entities, principally the Mar- itime Administration (MARAD), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) do not effectively participate in needed maritime navigation and safety research. This is primarily due to lack of resources and, in the case of the NTSB, the absence of a research and development mission. The U.S. Army Corps of Engi- neers conducts considerable applied research related to navigation, principally with respect to channel design and maintenance, but it does not address piloting

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RESEARCH NEEDS 299 practices, except to the extent that these practices relate to initial project design- dimensions. Research is not performed into actual piloting practices once a fed- eral navigation project has been constructed (NRC, 1992a). While pioneering research in human systems was undertaken by MARAD from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, this effort has been virtually elimi- nated over the last 10 years. This change coincided with privatization of opera- tions at the MARAD-owned Computer Aided Operations Research Facility and a change in focus by the private operator from fundamental research to applied research and training (NRC, 1992a'. Also concomitant were severe reductions in MARAD's research and development program, from over $25 million in 1975 to about $1 million in 1993, and the equally dramatic reduction in the size of the U.S. merchant fleet (Marine Board, 1991; Phillips and Weintraub, 1993~. Thus, there are research needs at the systems level in marine navigation and piloting as well as in the various subsystems (see Chapters 1 and 25. Research is especially needed in marine-systems safety, including risk and safety performance waters; . .. . In pllotlng waterways management, including marine traffic regulation, and VTS and waterways management systems; navigation and piloting technology (including aids to navigation); port-state versus flag-state policy; navigation and piloting practices; and human systems. ELEMENTS OF AN HOLISTIC RESEARCH PROGRAM Marine-Systems Safety Marine safety, risk, and exposure vary widely, even within the same port and waterways complex (see Chapter 41. Therefore, careful assessment of safety performance, including the identification and assessment of underlying causal factors in marine accidents and preventative measures that might be applied, would result in a more informed basis for problem solving. Alternative approach- es to assessing risk and determining where improvements can be made clearly are required. Research is needed for an interdisciplinary exploration of the relationship between appropriate cultural components of a highly reliable, safe marine system; development of a standard methodology for assessing risk and safety performance in marine transportation, including methods for data normalization across port, waterway, and river systems; development of a systematic vessel, company, and flag-state perfor- mance-monitoring program to aid in a holistic examination of (1) waterways

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300 MINDING THE HELM safety; (2) the impact on safety of reductions in shipboard personnel, use of less experienced officers and crew, and inadequate maintenance; and (3J the risk variables that affect development and implementation of safety improvement measures; development of automated safety-information systems, including real- time and intelligent data sources, integrated shipboard-VTS data bases, and ma- rine casualty and incident data; careful development of accident/incident reporting forms, utilizing a de- tailed study of the nature and granularity of the data required for both quantita- tive and qualitative accident/incident assessments and analysis; development of a training and education regimen for Coast Guard and other marine accident investigators, so as to ensure adequate assessment and knowledge of the impact of human factors in marine accidents and incidents; evaluation of the utility of various safety and performance measures, Including those assessing performance, reliability, and safety; and statistically valid assessments comparing the performance of marine pi lots performing docking services with that of docking masters in the same port, as well as a non-advocacy assessment addressing the safety of tug and barge operations relative to oceangoing ship operations in navigable waters of the United States. . . . . Waterways Management It is difficult to determine whether systemwide waterways management prob- lems exist, primarily because there is no standardized method of normalization and ranking for casualty data. In addition, the existing casualty data are not a complete reflection of the overall nature of safety problems in any one port area (Maio et al., 1991; Young, 1992~. Waterways management research is needed for development of complete safety data and systematic performance assess- ments of the marine traffic safety system, as has been identified in previous National Research Council reports (MRC, 1990a, 1991a); development of reliable data on the range of risk factors identified in order to support complete risk assessments, which includes development of a near-miss reporting system, an exposure data base, and a comprehensive risk- assessment program; development and evaluation of alternative marine traffic regulation mod- els including (1) direction of vessel maneuvering by shore-based pilots in con- sultation with colleagues aboard vessels; (2) expansion of current VTS systems into marine traffic regulation networks, with pilots remaining aboard ships; and (3J expansion of current NITS systems into additional ports for navigation infor- mation purposes only;

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RESEARCH NEEDS 301 development and evaluation of a prototype marine traffic regulation sys- tem modeled on current aviation practice; evaluation of the operational proto- type would include assessments of (1) factors determining system success, (2) factors particular to the maritime environment, and (3) capabilities required to successfully operate such a marine traffic regulation system; and development of a standardized analytical method for assessing VTS et- fectiveness with respect to port, waterway, and regional data. Navigation and Piloting Technology Just as an understanding of risk in local operating environments is important for the pilot, it is also important in determining opportunities for universal and system-specific improvements in safety and economic efficiency. The following research is needed: assessment of alternative means of communications, including= electronic data transfer and interactive transmission of traffic and position information, to sustain and perhaps improve the safety benefits achieved through vessel-to-ves sel-to-VTS communications; shipboard and empirical assessments of the performance and usefulness of adaptive steering systems, including those employing fuzzy logic, neural net- works, and learning technology; . empirical and shipboard evaluations of the role and contribution of elec- tronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS), in at least three configu- ration~s: stand-alone mode, embedded within an integrated bridge system (IBS), and coupled to an intelligent integrated bridge or piloting system configuration; a comprehensive assessment of the different levels of ECDIS display including evaluations of the contribution and usefulness of simple, microproces- sor-based displays of electronic charts with limited. voyage planning capabilities through sophisticated engineering workstation-based systems with a variety of features (such as radar overlays/underlays, electronic charts, warnings and alarms, and voyage planning capabilities); development of standard user interfaces, displays, communications modes, and training procedures for shipboard navigation and piloting technolo- gy; this work would include standardization and retrofitting of existing equip- ment, as well as implement new technology (such as Global Positioning System (GPS), ECDIS, Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA), I.BS, and expert and decision support systems); assessments of integrated real-time positioning systems, environmental information, automated decision aids, and shore-based navigational support ser- vices in order to reduce the potential for human error; assessments need to cover "technology-assisted" and "VTS-assisted" accidents;

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302 MINDING THE HELM empirical and shipboard evaluations of the contribution and value of var- ious forms of simulation and virtual reality to ship- and shore-based training; and improvements in traditional aids to navigation to improve visual and elec- tronic acquisition under all operating conditions. Port-State Versus Flag-State Policy In view of the increasing importance of the United States as a port state, the following research is needed assessment of the impact of environmental constraints on shipping com- panies and ship operations; assessment of policies for ports and waterways in which the range and variation in technologies and nautical knowledge are increasing; . development of flexible organizational strategies and structures to re- spond to growing environmental uncertainty; and development of standardized measures, and information and decision sup- port systems, for identifying, tracking, and managing substandard ships in U.S. coastal waters. Navigation and Piloting Practice The efficacy of certain licensing and operational practices cannot be fully resolved by analysis of existing data and safety studies. Research needed to provide a more complete basis to guide improvements in the marine navigation and piloting system includes: empirical assessments of the performance of professional-development processes for federal pilots, involving the establishment of benchmarks for com- parative safety analysis; assessments of projected shortages of qualified deck officers by the next decade, the impact of drawing on nonmaritime labor pools to reduce labor costs, and reported declines in the overall professional qualifications of deck officers; development and outcome assessments of standardized professional de- velopment, recertification, and continuing professional development programs for marine pilots; non-advocacy (that is, objective) assessments of the safety and effective- ness of pilotage in the shipping and coastal towing industries; and development of a prototype (industry or Coast Guard) accredited training program for shipping and tug and barge masters, operators, and mates.

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RESEARCH NEEDS 303 Human Systems In the maritime world, human systems concerns are all but ignored in deci- sion-making processes, technology development and use, and systems interfac- es. Improved ways to develop and assess professional qualifications are needed. To address the lack of human systems input to navigation and piloting systems, research is needed in the following areas: assessment of a variety of factors that affect safe and reliable marine operations, including: (1) tradeoffs between bridge team skill mixes and crew size; (2) checks and balances in marine decision-making processes; (3J the possi- bility, appropriateness, and need for truly interconnected distributed decision making within and across marine systems; (4) analysis mechanisms for improv- ing trust within and across various segments of the marine system; (5) "shared knowledge" within bridge teams and among bridge teams, VTS, and pilots, as a foundation for empirical assessments of decision-making processes on ship's bridges and the links among these processes and their external environments (such as VTS, shipping companies); and (6) crew requirements in work environ- ments with increasingly sophisticated technology; . reviews of available or near term fitness for duty human performance testing methods, and development of acceptable means for assessing fitness for duty of crewmembers performing critical navigation and piloting tasks; . assessment of the impact of manual and electronic charting practices (that is, plotting, display of icons, use of color, and so forth) on human perfor mance; . assessment of the impacts of electronic piloting decision aids on ship's officers and pilots, particularly the user's ability to separate from the decision aid in sufficient time to avoid collisions or groundings when it is providing erroneous advice; . assessment of the various uses of marine simulation, including (1) its use in entry-level and proficiency training for marine pilots relative to traditional apprenticeship methods; (2) use of interactive simulator training and testing courseware and devices, including the potential application of these devices in marine licensing processes; and (3) development of marine simulation as a valid tool for establishing maximum work hours for watchstanding; and development of models and procedural task lists for critical watchstand- ing functions, and assessment of means for preventing human error in perform- ing these tasks. ESTABLISHING A RESEARCH PROGRAM There is a long history of federal involvement in the development of civilian technology. This includes such technologies such as radar, a military technology

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304 MINDING THE HELM that has been commercialized (NRC, 1992b). Research that would advance nav- igation and piloting practices and technology crosses the missions of the Coast Guard, MARAD, NOAA, and Army Corps of Engineers. Such research is also of interest to the NTSB (which periodically undertakes research related to spe- cific marine accidents the board is investigating) and the U.S. Navy. because research and development budgets for marine navigation and pilot- ing are small relative to the involved agencies' research and development bud- gets ire other areas, every effort must be made to maximize the value of resources that are available for fundamental marine navigation and piloting research. In this regard, a cooperative research program is art attractive concept because of existing mission responsibilities related to navigation and piloting. Further, the Coast Guard, MARAD, NOAA, Army Corps of Engineers, Navy, and the ma- rine industry already participate to some extent in cooperative research. One such example is the ECDIS testbed project (see Chapter 6) involving, among others, the Coast Guard, MARAD, NOAA, and several marine transportation companies. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is principally responsible for safe- ty of the marine navigation and piloting system. The department maintains re- search and development capabilities for transportation including the Volpe Na- tional Transportation Research Center; the Coast Guard (part of DOT) maintains a 120-person Research and Development Center. In view of the department's transportation safety mission and the ongoing navigation research and develop- ment programs of its maritime agencies, the Department of Transportation ap- pears to have the infrastructure and mission responsibility that would be neces- sary to coordinate a cooperative marine navigation and piloting research program.