This study addresses problems in pilots' interaction with conventional traffic advisory systems during simulated visual flight. A predictive traffic visualization concept is proposed, which attempts to fill the gap between the traffic information needed by pilots in visual flight and the information provided by conventional traffic advisory systems. The method and the reasoning for the need to display predictive traffic features are explained. Four display variants that combined various predictive features and a conventional display were evaluated in an experiment with 21 pilots. The pilots' tasks were to watch simulated traffic scenarios on a display and to make conflict and priority decisions. They also provided ratings for mental demand and display preferences. The results show that pilots preferred two display variants: one which combined oriented air vehicle symbols and the relative track, and one with an additional priority cue. With both display variants, the pilots made significantly faster conflict decisions and reported lower mental demand as compared with the variants using conventional TCAS-like symbols and other predictive cues such as the oriented air vehicle symbols and the absolute track. These findings can be applied to improve future traffic advisory systems for visual flight.
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