IMO established a strategy implementation plan to embody e-Navigation for safety navigation of ships and protection of marine environment. Diverse IT services must be provided for navigation safety using shore and on-board communication infrastructures in order to make e-Navigation successful. IMO defined MSP(Maritime Service Portfolio) as collection of e-Navigation IT services and is currently developing detailed IT services. Diverse and detailed IT services are expected to appear in the future. For successful creation of MSP, it is necessary to verify whether IT services can help safe navigation and to manage them so they do not get abused. Such activities must be checked through repeated experiments in actual situations because plausible IT services may not be as effective as expected and can actually cause misjudgment or misunderstanding of navigators to result in dangerous situations. Aware of this problem, IMO is standardizing usability evaluation method based on HDC activities, which can evaluate e-Navigation IT services from user perspective. If usability of IT services is evaluated by a technique based on HCD activities, it is possible to receive feedbacks such as errors, improvements and additional user demands of IT services.
Despite the fact that study of usability evaluation on e-Navigation IT services is an extremely important field, the studies on this field are rarely found. Preparation for enactment of MSP as international standard has recently begun, and there are no clear standards for test bed, evaluation scale and method. Especially, because the test bed is a core technical element of usability evaluation, the actual organizations such as VTS center are the possible candidates to achieve best test performance. However, to use actual ships in practical usability test has many limitations on environment and unexpectedly leads to reproduction of accident during analysis with accompanying economic problems. For this reason, there is a need for study on usability evaluation of IT services using navigation simulation system as a means to substitute for an actual on-board test.
Needless to say, the best methods to make a navigation simulation system useful in IT service test are to create a same environment and navigation equipment as those of an actual ship, and to conduct simulation under the same environment as actual ship. However, is a great difficulty with such simulation system that the purpose of Full-Mission Ship-handling Simulator is wholly different with the purpose of the simulator for IT service evaluation.
Accordingly, this paper proposes an applicable and practical navigation simulation system for usability evaluation of e-Navigation IT services, and the purpose of this study is to carry out a series of activities related to usability evaluation of e-Navigation IT services.
The proposed navigation simulation system consists of scenario editor module, 3D visualization module for navigation environment, 3D geographic visualization module, and 2D visualization module for navigation instrument. The scenario editor module provides a function to create scenarios by configuring name, type, size and navigation route of ship, and it generates scenario files. The 3D geographic visualization module generates 3D image files based on precise elevation terrain data, bathymetric terrain data and AtoN facilities for ports around the world and dangerously narrow channels. The navigation environment 3D visualization module can save scenarios to the files and those can be retrieved to reproduce various kinds of navigation spaces and ships. This module is divided into part that visualizes ship navigation and part that visualizes sea environment. The navigation equipment 2D visualization module shows the important navigation instruments in bridge such as ECDIS(Electronic Char Display and Information System), AIS(Automatic Identification System) and Radar.
Prior to carry out usability evaluation of e-Navigation IT services using the navigation simulation developed, the cause of marine accident were analyzed using accident cases of recent 5 years from Korean Maritime Safety Tribunal. Based on requirements of navigator, IT services providing CPA/TCPA information and sharing route plan were deduced as a practical accident prevention measures. Scenario creation, a proper evaluation scale and an efficient evaluation method were developed to evaluate usability these IT services. Usability evaluations were performed by practical navigators to examine effectiveness and efficiency, satisfaction.