Degradation in spatial knowledge acquisition when using automatic navigation systems
Over-reliance on automated navigation systems may cause users to be "mindless" of the environment and not develop the spatial knowledge that maybe required when automation fails. This research focused on the potential degradation in spatial knowledge acquisition due to the reliance on automatic wayfinding systems. In addition, the impact of "keeping the user in the loop" strategies on spatial knowledge was examined. Participants performed wayfindings tasks in a virtual building with continuous or by-request position indication, in addition to responding to occasional orientation quizzes. Findings indicate that having position indication by request and orientation quizzes resulted in better acquired spatial knowledge. The findings are discussed in terms of keeping the user actively investing mental effort in the wayfinding task as a strategy to reduce the possible negative impact of automated navigation systems.