Touch Interactive Display Systems: Human Factors Considerations, System Design and Performance Guidelines

Scope:

This ARP covers the system design, human interface considerations, and hardware performance recommendations and requirements for touch interactive electronic display systems installed in the cockpit/flight deck for use by pilots. System design and human interface considerations include: identification of functions that could use and benefit from touch interactions, the pilot and cockpit/flight deck environment characteristics that impact usability, and specific pilot interface characteristics such as touch mode, single and multi touch applications, feedback, latency, potential human error, and basic usability. Also addressed are workload, fatigue, and transition from hard to soft control considerations. Hardware issues cover performance aspects of touch screens installed on cockpit/flight deck displays. This ARP is intended to cover Part 23 and 25 category airplanes as well as Part 27 and 29 rotorcraft.

Rationale:

Touch screens were introduced in the early 90’s in military cockpits to perform simple functions and more recently in commercial avionics both for installed and non installed devices such as Electronic Flight Bags (EFB). Touch screens are widely used in consumer electronics (e.g., tablets and cell phones) leading to novel Human System Interfaces and Interactions. However, the guidelines and requirements for touch screens from the consumer industry are not sufficient to cover their implementation in cockpits/flight decks and hence this ARP is needed to ensure that the continued implementation of touch interactive display capabilities to be used by pilots will be acceptable. Guidance material on the integration and use of touch interactions for Cockpit Display Systems is essential to address the new benefits and issues raised by introducing the touch modality into the cockpit. Certification Review Items have been issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency during the introduction of touch screens in commercial or helicopter cockpits. While the Federal Aviation Administration has included high level guidance for the introduction of touch screens into the electronic displays in AC 20-175_Controls for Flight Deck Systems, specific recommendations on how to meet that guidance are missing. More specific recommendations and requirements would be useful to the industry to ensure that touch screens developed for use by pilots on the flight deck and cockpit will consistently and effectively meet the regulatory rules and high level guidance. Human Machine Interaction impacts such as soft touch force and feel, single pilot versus dual pilot interaction, touch feedback, erroneous action and crew workload assessment are addressed in this document.

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