Eye Tracking during High Speed Navigation at Sea
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Purpose: Professional high speed sea navigational procedures are based on turn points, courses, dangers and steering cues in the environment. Since navigational aids have become less expensive and due to the fact that electronic sea charts can be integrated with both radar and transponder information, it may be assumed that traditional navigation by using paper based charts and radar will play a less significant role in the future, especially among less experienced navigators. Possible navigational differences between experienced and non-experienced boat drivers is thus of interest with regards to their use of navigational aids. It may be assumed that less experienced navigators rely too much on the information given by the electronic sea chart, despite the fact that it is based on GPS information that can be questioned, especially in littoral waters close to land.Method: This eye tracking study investigates gaze behaviour from 16 experienced and novice boat drivers during high speed navigation at sea.Results: The results show that the novice drivers look at objects that are close to themselves, like instrumentation, while the experienced look more at objects far away from the boat. This is in accordance with previous research on car drivers. Further, novice boat drivers used the electronic navigational aids to a larger extent than the experienced, especially during high speed conditions. The experienced drivers focused much of their attention on objects outside the boat.Conclusions: The findings verify that novice boat drivers tend to rely on electronic navigational aids. Experienced drivers presumably use the navigational aids to verify what they have observed in the surrounding environment and further use the paper based sea chart to a larger extent than the novice drivers.
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