Resolving safety-critical incidents in a rally control center

Mikael Wahlström, Antti Salovaara, Leena Salo, Antti Oulasvirta

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Control centers in large-scale events entail heterogeneous combinations of off-the-shelf and proprietary systems built into ordinary rooms, and in this respect they place themselves in an interesting contrast to more permanent control rooms with custom-made systems and a large number of operational procedures. In this article we ask how it is possible for a control center that is seemingly so “ad hoc” in nature to achieve a remarkable safety level in the face of many safety-critical incidents. We present analyses of data collected in two FIA World Rally Championships events. The results highlight three aspects of the workers' practices: (a) the practice of making use of redundancy in technologically mediated representations, (b) the practice of updating the intersubjective understanding of the incident status through verbal coordination, and (c) the practice of reacting immediately to emergency messages even without a comprehensive view of the situation, and gradually iterating one's hypothesis to correct the action. This type of collaborative setting imposes special demands to support the practices of absorbing, translating, and manipulating incoming information.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-37
    Number of pages29
    JournalHuman-Computer Interaction
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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