Removing Barriers for Safe Multi-Vehicle Operations: Wisk and NASA Collaboration

April 11, 2023

Wisk and NASA are working together to research—and then remove—the barriers to safe multi-vehicle operations. Sometimes referred to as m:N, the multi-vehicle operational model envisions a few operators (m) overseeing many vehicles (N).

Human Factors Testing for Safe and Efficient Multi-Vehicle Operations

Human factors testing looks at the interactions between humans and systems. Our goal is to find the best way to equip each operator (human) so that they can supervise multiple vehicles (our aircraft) safely and efficiently. Multi-vehicle operations capability is an essential component to Wisk scaling quickly and affordably once we enter the market.

Collaborating with NASA brings valuable resources, experience, and perspectives to the table as we work together on this complex problem.

According to Mark Shikerman, Wisk’s Human Engineering Manager,

“This is an emerging research area. Through collaboration, we can broaden the scope of the questions we are able to answer, and how quickly we can answer them. We can bring the research to the next level. Autonomous air mobility is a reality right now, and every answer gets us closer to our first flight.” 

Moving Forward: Developing Question Sets and Simulation-Based Evaluations

Our next steps include developing question sets that define the specific role of the human operator, how operators will receive information, and which scenarios need to be tested. From there we will begin planning simulation-based evaluations.

The more we understand human/system interactions in the m:N context, the better we can ensure the future safety of our autonomous aircraft, and the closer we come to providing safe, everyday flight to everyone.