Navy ditches touchscreens for knobs and dials after fatal crash

TechCrunch | 8/11/2019 | Staff
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A collision at sea that claimed the lives of 10 sailors has led to the Navy deciding to replace an unpopular touchscreen interface in some ships with more traditional mechanical controls. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” a Navy official said of the outgoing technology.

The crash in question involved the U.S.S. John S. McCain and an oil tanker in August of 2017. The sailors at the helm lost control of the ship and put it in the path of the tanker, resulting in the collision that killed 10 and injured 58 more.

Complexity - System - Sailor - Thinking - Ships

But the complexity of the system led to one sailor thinking he was controlling the ships entire throttle, while only in fact controlling one side. This led to the John S. McCain making a sharp turn directly into the path of the oncoming tanker.

“Their misunderstandings expressed during the post-accident interviews and the misunderstandings of other crewmembers who were permanently assigned to the John S McCain point to a more fundamental issue with the qualification process and training with the IBNS,” concluded the report.

One - Systems - Year - Crisis - Situation

Turns out no one really knew how these systems, which were installed only a year ago, really worked, and in a crisis situation were unable to quickly perform the maneuvers necessary. So the Navy...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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