I do tend to use the docking computer, because I'm a scurrilous multitasker. Nevertheless I'm thoroughly dismayed at the poor performance of the current automated docking procedure. For instance:
At Xexedi Main Station I arrived with 14 ships ahead of me near the station. There are about 10 Cops about as well, but not evidently waiting to dock. Two or three previous times there, with similar queues, I've seen ships fly in from the side right across the dock, turning, and flying right across the dock again, etc. never actually docking, that I noticed. They get waved off after two minutes, I suppose, and a next ship does the same. After 15 minutes waiting those times, I used the SHIFT to dock, but this time, I wanted to check how the docking computer actually worked or not.
I could at not a single moment deduce any logic to the followed procedure. My ship kept flying about with stops and starts: every time waiting a while in a spot, pointing in no logical direction, start up and fly slowly or at top speed for a while to a new spot, wait awhile, and so on. These new spots were not necessarily in the direction I'd been waiting previously, so that was not the reason for pointing that way.
And then from time to time, for no reason again, it looked like I was shifted to the back of the queue again. All in all it took over half an hour before I got docked, which means, if I would have been in queue position 15 on arrival, the average docking time is higher than the allowed two minutes per ship, in other words, highly inefficient. If a computer can't dock faster than a human, what's the point? I do manual docking only for variety, and to hear from Traffic Control what is happening, because the Docking Computer OXZ does not relay the normal Traffic Control feedback a human gets.
Here is what, based on my extremely limited knowledge of the game, I would do:
Line up ships in 6 lines around the 10 km beacon, whether there is a beacon or not, queue position 1 to be 2 km "above" the beacon in the plane perpendicular to the line beacon-dock. Queue position 2 would be 2 km (counter-)clockwise and 2 km from the beacon, same plane, and so forth until you have 6 ships waiting in a hexagon around the beacon. Position 7 is 2 km behind position 1, and again we go in the same direction filling a second hexagon, positions 13-18 2 km behind that, 19-24 behind that, etc.
Now when a ship 1 is allowed to dock, it does that, and position 2 becomes position 1
. etc. The ship in (former) position 7 moves up 2 km to the new position 6, and those behind him follow suit.
A docking ship speeds up to, say, 200, pointing to 1 km nearer the nearest obstruction in the approach (ideally the beacon), and when at .5 km from that point, to the next point 1 km further in, and so on. At 3 km (or nearer) it slows down to 80 or so for rotational alignment, (I use speed 60-80 when manually docking, but I use 280-300 to get to 3 km.) and once that is achieved, it proceeds remaining at that speed or faster, while maintaining rotational alignment, like now, but without stopping and starting.
In case of a priority dock or some launches, the queue simply gets put on hold for a bit, with no need or rejockeying for position.
Needs only extra tweaking for obstructions quite near the station, but there should be something for that already. I imagine the station would send out a Cop to blast it away, unless it's a derelict, in which case they send out the tug.
This procedure should be fairly fail-safe and fair, and keep those queues from building up, so long as nobody gets booted out of docking sequence to the back of the queue, but I can't imagine that would be a game feature.