Amazon is reportedly using artificial intelligence (AI) to determine how much its delivery drivers should be paid by and their employment status.
According to The Information, which first reported the news, the AI-powered surveillance cameras in delivery trucks are monitoring the driver’s behavior and scoring them on safety infractions like tailgating, speeding or illegal U-turns.
The news outlet says it obtained confidential documents that reveal cameras inside vans count the number of potentially dangerous actions – most equal one point, but others like running a stop sign are worth 10 points.
The documents also states that contracted drives receive a report card each week, showing their performance that ranges from ‘fantastic’ to ‘poor’ that shows how many infractions occurred for every 100 trips.
Those with five or fewer violations per 100 trips usually receive a ‘fantastic’ score, according to The Information.
The Amazon documents also states that the firm will remove some infractions to balance to account for ‘edge cases’ where the cameras’ AI software misidentifies violations.
However, a poor score could also lead to a driver being fired from the company.
An Amazon spokesperson also told DailyMail.com in an email that 45 percent of delivery vans are equip with the AI-powered cameras.
However, the person also notes that these systems have improved safety since being installed and allows delivery companies to help drivers avoid risky behavior while behind the wheel.
‘Nothing is more important than the safety of drivers and the community, which is why we recently started rolling out industry-leading telematics and camera-based safety technology across our delivery fleet,’ the Amazon spokesperson continued.
‘This technology provides drivers real-time alerts to help them stay safe when they are on the road. We piloted the technology on over two million miles of delivery routes, and the results produced remarkable safety improvements—accidents decreased 48 percent, stop sign violations decreased 20 percent, driving without a seatbelt decreased 60 percent, and distracted driving decreased 45 percent.
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The AI-powered surveillance cameras in delivery trucks are monitoring the driver’s behavior and scoring them on safety infractions like tailgating, speeding or illegal U-turns
DailyMail.com has contacted Amazon for more information.
Amazon rolled out the AI-powered cameras in deliver vans this last February, which was first reported on by The Information, ‘with a goal of improving safety.’
The camera, called Driveri, has four lenses that monitor the road, driver and interior of the van.
Each lens is powered by AI that can detect 16 safety issues, such as hard breaking and whether the driver is wearing a seat belt.
The Information claims it obtained confidential documents that reveal cameras inside vans count the number of potentially dangerous actions – most equal one point, but others like running a stop sign can see 10 points, according to the publication
According to the February report, the system is designed to identifying risky behavior, such as distracted driving, not stopping when required and speeding.
The ‘Driveri’ camera system is paired with the Mentor app that constantly monitors the driver’s ever move and location, while also tracking some of the same safety violations.
In March, an Amazon driver told Reuters that this ‘Big Brother’ system first began with the Mentor app, which sends data to the higher ups.
‘If we went over a bump, the phone would rattle, the Mentor app would log that I used the phone while driving, and boom, I’d get docked,’ the driver told Reuters.
Then, Amazon started asking him to post ‘selfies’ before each shift on Amazon Flex, another app he had to install.
Amazon rolled out the AI-powered cameras in deliver vans this last February, which was first reported on by The Information, ‘with a goal of improving safety’
‘I had already logged in with my keycard at the beginning of the shift, and now they want a photo? It was too much,’ he added.
The final indignity, he said, was Amazon’s decision to install a four-lens, AI-powered camera in delivery vehicles that would record and analyze his face and body the entire shift.
However, the driver eventually quit, citing the surveillance as his reason for leaving.
Before employees started standing up against the surveillance, privacy advocates were already on the frontline just days after Amazon rolled out the AI-powered surveillance cameras.
Andrew Ferguson, a professor of law at DC’s American University, told Reuters: ‘Amazon is quite literally building mobile surveillance vans to film our neighborhoods, something that we would be rightly horrified about if our government did it.’
He said Amazon’s private surveillance networks would further entrench the snooping powers of government.
‘I don’t think we want to join dystopia prime.’