Automation that supports lower order information processing levels can potentially reduce the loss of situation awareness associated with static automation, but remains to be tested. Adaptable automation has promised the benefits of adaptive automation without the associated reorienting costs. In the current study, 38 participants completed a simulated submarine track management task with varying taskload under conditions of no automation, static automation, and adaptable automation (where participants decided when to use automation). Static automation reduced workload and improved performance with no cost to situation awareness (compared to no automation). This suggests that low levels of static automation can support performance under varying taskload, however a stronger test of situation awareness is recommended for future studies. Adaptable automation was used during periods of high taskload but was not utilized fully by participants. Adaptable automation maintained situation awareness and lowered workload but provided minimal performance improvements (compared to no automation).
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