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Challenges for Team Play in Railway Telematics: A Human-Computer Interaction Study

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thesis
posted on 2023-03-02, 14:35 authored by Bernd Stottok

Telematics systems on railways are used for passenger and freight wagon supervision, transport management processes, safety diagnostics, and finally maintenance. This thesis provides the results of a Grounded Theory Methodology based study dealing with the interaction between railway drivers and on-board railway telematics systems. As such interaction can be understood as team play, this qualitative research work contributes overall to the understanding of the challenges for team play in railway telematics. 

Most research on the enhancement of telematics systems is purely technically oriented, dealing with additional and advance telematics functionalities. There is little qualitative research in combining this with human-computer interaction aspects. Following a general introduction of the daily tasks of railway drivers, relevant railway telematics systems and their use, this thesis presents a detailed theoretical analysis of what are generally considered the main characteristics of, and the basic requirements for, human-computer team play. 

Subsequently, applying the Grounded Theory Methodology, the researcher analysed and reviewed the data gathered from a study with eleven railway drivers which were interviewed concerning their interaction with rail telematics systems. It was found that from the drivers’ point of view, human-telematics team play does not currently exist to a satisfactory level. The drivers expressed concern about data consistency and information complexity, the impact of cost control measures, and their own degree of responsibility while on duty. Further challenges existed regarding the degree of automation on the railways, the quality of trainings, and the available communication channels. 

The study developed a theoretical model that defines the requirements which need to be considered when meeting the team play challenges. The results presented here should be of significant benefit to all team players in railway telematics as well as those interested in the practical application of Grounded Theory. Using this research methodology, the study provides starting points for the enhancement of human-computer team play. The significant contribution of this research work is the exploratory framework represented by the Grounded Theory categories and their relationships. 

The recommendations and results presented aim to benefit researchers and industry by pinpointing possibilities to enable improvement in team play within the area of railway telematics, which will consequently lead to increased safety, better transport management processes as well as cost optimisation for railway operators and users.

History

Qualification name

  • PhD

Supervisor

Behringer, Reinhold ; Gorra, Andrea ; Fabri, Marc

Awarding Institution

Leeds Beckett University

Completion Date

2016-02-01

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Language

  • eng

Publisher

Leeds Beckett University

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