Mixed-Initiative Control of a Roadable Air Vehicle for Non-Pilots
This work developed and evaluated a human-machine interface for the control of a roadable air vehicle (RAV), capable of surface driving, vertical takeoff, sustained flight, and landing. Military applications seek to combine the benefits of ground and air vehicles to maximize flexibility of movement but require that the operator have minimal pilot training. This makes the operator vulnerable to automation complexity issues; however, the operator will expect to be able to interact extensively and control the vehicle during flight. A mixed-initiative control approach mitigates these vulnerabilities by integrating the operator into many complex control domains in the way that they often expect—flexibly in charge, aware, but not required to issue every command. Intrinsic safety aspects were evaluated by comparing performance, decision making, precision, and workload for three RAV control paradigms: human-only, fully automated, and mixed-initiative control. The results suggest that the mixed-initiative paradigm leverages the benefits of human and automated control while also avoiding the drawbacks associated with each.
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