Eye Tracking for Assessment of Situational Awareness in Bridge Resource Management Training

J Eye Mov Res. 2019 Apr 16;12(3):10.16910/jemr.12.3.7. doi: 10.16910/jemr.12.3.7.


The purpose of this study is to experiment eye tracking in situational awareness assessment in Bridge Resource Management training of ship officers who play a critical role in maritime accidents. The maritime industry focuses on human factor developing and improving regulations including training requirements to prevent marine casualties. The mandatory Bridge Resource Management training as per international regulations includes assessment of situational awareness of trainees in full mission ship bridge simulators. The study involves capturing and analyzing eye movement data from maritime cadets and ship officers with sea experience in a simulation exercise. An eye tracking analysis software and eye tracking glasses are used for the study. Inferential and descriptive analyses were both used to validate the results. Significant differences were found between fixation duration measurements of novice cadets and experienced officers. Heat map visualizations also revealed differences in focuses of attention among participants. The evaluations of the certified simulator assessors are considered as the ground truth, and the results were compared to and discussed accordingly. The results show that the eye tracking technology is a valuable complementary tool for assessment of situational awareness in a simulator environment, utilized with the existing conventional observation and performance measurement methods. The study reveals that eye tracking provides the assessor with novel data in simulator based maritime training, such as focus of attention, which contributes to the evaluation of the situational awareness. The study, therefore, contributes to maritime education aiming to improve the effectiveness of Bridge Resource Management training. It also contributes to scientific research on eye movement in maritime field by proposing the integration of eye tracking in the Bridge Resource Management training.

Keywords: Eye movement; area of interest; bridge resource management; eye tracking; individual differences; maritime education; simulation and training; situational awareness.