Multimodal Augmented Reality Applications for Training of Traffic Procedures in Aviation

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Mid-air collision is one of the top safety risks in general aviation. This study addresses the description and experimental assessment of multimodal Augmented Reality (AR) applications for training of traffic procedures in accordance with Visual Flight Rules (VFR). AR has the potential to complement the conventional flight instruction by bridging the gap between theory and practice, and by releasing students’ time and performance pressure associated with a limited simulator time. However, it is critical to assess the impact of AR in the specific domain and to identify any potential negative learning transfer. Multimodal AR applications were developed to address various areas of training: guidance and feedback for the correct scanning pattern, estimation if an encountering traffic is on collision course and application of the relevant rules. The AR applications also provided performance feedback for collision detection, avoidance and priority decisions. The experimental assessment was conducted with 59 trainees (28 women, 31 men) assigned to an experimental group (AR training) and a control group (simulator training). The results of tests without AR in the flight simulator show that the group that trained with AR obtained similar levels of performance like the control group. There was no negative training effect of AR on trainees’ performance, workload, situational awareness, emotion nor motivation. After training the tasks were perceived as less challenging, the accuracy of collision detection has improved, and the trainees reported less intense negative emotions and fear of failure. Furthermore, a scanning pattern test in AR showed that the AR training group performed the scanning pattern significantly better than the control group. In addition, there was a significant gender effect on emotion, motivation and preferences for AR features, but not on performance. Women liked the voice interaction with AR and the compass hologram more than men. Men liked the traffic holograms and the AR projection field more than women. These results are important because they provide experimental evidence for the benefits of multimodal AR applications that could be used complementary to the flight simulator training.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalMultimodal Technologies and Interaction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing


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