Human–Autonomy Teaming: A Review and Analysis of the Empirical Literature


ObjectiveWe define human–autonomy teaming and offer a synthesis of the existing empirical research on the topic. Specifically, we identify the research environments, dependent variables, themes representing the key findings, and critical future research directions.BackgroundWhereas a burgeoning literature on high-performance teamwork identifies the factors critical to success, much less is known about how human–autonomy teams (HATs) achieve success. Human–autonomy teamwork involves humans working interdependently toward a common goal along with autonomous agents. Autonomous agents involve a degree of self-government and self-directed behavior (agency), and autonomous agents take on a unique role or set of tasks and work interdependently with human team members to achieve a shared objective.MethodWe searched the literature on human–autonomy teaming. To meet our criteria for inclusion, the paper needed to involve empirical research and meet our definition of human–autonomy teaming. We found 76 articles that met our criteria for inclusion.ResultsWe report on research environments and we find that the key independent variables involve autonomous agent characteristics, team composition, task characteristics, human individual differences, training, and communication. We identify themes for each of these and discuss the future research needs.ConclusionThere are areas where research findings are clear and consistent, but there are many opportunities for future research. Particularly important will be research that identifies mechanisms linking team input to team output variables.

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