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Journal Article

Citation

Koistinen M. Res. Rep. Finn. Transp. Agency 2011; (54): online.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2011, Finnish Transport Agency)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

A person who is situationally aware can answer questions about what happens around her, what is going to happen next and what possibilities she has to act. There is no unambiguous definition of situational picture but it can be seen as a support for decision making. Also, from a traffic perspective, situation awareness and situational pictures have been highlighted several times, especially in different plans of actions and strategic plans concerning traffic. Road, railway, and sea traffic amounts increases constantly, which emphasizes the importance of fluent and effective traffic management. To manage traffic the operational actors need a good situation awareness and situational picture. Many situations proceed fast, there are many actors, and the situational information is diffused. At the same time the operational actors should be able to do good decisions. Even though situation awareness and situational pictures have been mentioned in strategic plans and plans of action, they have neither been defined from an operational traffic management perspective, nor have the elements that provide good situational awareness and situational pictures been considered. Furthermore, the use of the terms differs between different forms of traffic, which complicates communication and increases the probability of misunderstandings. The primary aim of the thesis was to untangle the formation of situation awareness and situational picture in operational road, railway and sea traffic management. The thesis focuses on certain fault situations. Secondary aims was to define the terms related to situation awareness from an operational traffic management perspective as well as to study the decisions an operational traffic management professional makes based on her situation awareness and what needs of information she has. One of the results of the study was definitions of the terms related to situation awareness. The definitions can in future assist communication between traffic management actors and reduce the possibility of misunderstandings when talking about situation awareness and situational picture. The decision making schemas that was a result of the case studies can work as a base for development and definition of situational picture systems in different forms of traffic. In the case study some development needs were recognized. In road traffic the development needs were to build a good situational picture system, to recognize indicators for traffic fault situations, to enable continuous situation awareness, and to learn in the organization. In railway traffic the development needs were to build a good situational picture system, to increase interaction, to increase the understanding of the social aspect, to develop plans of action, and to consider new needs of information. In sea traffic the development needs were to further develop a learning situational picture system, to develop the use of and convey of empirical information, and to secure proactivity.


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