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Utopia Talk / Politics / US navy and touch screens
Wed Sep 11 13:34:18
US Navy to ditch touch screen ship controls

The US Navy is replacing touch screen controls on destroyers, after the displays were implicated in collisions.

Unfamiliarity with the touch screens contributed to two accidents that caused the deaths of 17 sailors, said incident reports.

Poor training meant sailors did not know how to use the complex systems in emergencies, they said.

Sailors "overwhelmingly" preferred to control ships with wheels and throttles, surveys of crew found.

The US Navy reports looked into collisions involving the USS Fitzgerald in June 2017 and the USS McCain in August 2017.

The Fitzgerald collided with a container ship near the Japanese mainland in an accident that killed seven sailors.

The McCain was off the coast of Singapore when it hit a container ship, killing 10 of the Navy destroyer's crew.

The incidents led to senior officers being charged with "negligent homicide". Others were dismissed from the service.
Investigations found that both incidents were preventable and the result of "multiple failures".

Strongly implicated in the collisions were the touch screen controls introduced on the destroyers.

Service news website USNI reported that Rear Adm Bill Galinis, who oversees US Navy ship design, said the control systems were "overly complex" because shipbuilders had little official guidance on how they should work.

As a result, he said, the control systems on different ships had little in common, so sailors often were not sure where key indicators, such as a ship's heading, could be found on screens.

In addition, he said, a fleet survey about attitudes to the display-driven controls was "really eye-opening".

"We got away from the physical throttles, and that was probably the number one feedback from the fleet - they said, just give us the throttles that we can use," said Rear Adm Galinis.

The survey showed a desire for wheels and throttles that, prior to the introduction of touch screens, were common across many different types of vessel.

The US Navy was now developing physical throttle and wheel systems that can replace the touch screens, USNI said. The service plans to start the process of replacing touch screens in the summer of 2020.

Thu Sep 12 07:40:12
Makes some sense. Which of us has not from time to time found ourselves swearing at our touch screen phone or tablet when trying to get our finger to activate the correct function on the screen?

You don't want that type of scenario on a war ship in a scenario where seconds count.
Thu Sep 12 09:47:24
The idea that controls of a Destroyer would operate by touch screen is pure madness to my mind.

Not that mechanical things can't break down, but at least it feels like there'd be a decent chance of fixing that. Whereas a bust touch screen is just fucked.

I mean I'm sure there are precautions and protocols and whatnot. But it feels very wrong to me.
Thu Sep 12 10:40:00
”sailors often were not sure where key indicators, such as a ship's heading, could be found on screens. ”

Sounds like they didn’t get education on how to use them. Lol

Maybe the can use a wireless Magic Mouse by Apple instead. Although, there will still be people who won’t know how to double click.
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