Amazon monitors delivery drivers with AI software – they get penalized if they look in mirrors or get cut off

American couriers from web shop giant Amazon claim they are being punished for safe driving, but also for things beyond their control, Vice reports. Cameras in the delivery vans keep an eye on the drivers and the AI ​​software illegally issues fines for, for example, looking in side mirrors, setting the radio and even if drivers are cut off by another road user.

“It’s irritating, especially if I haven’t done anything,” a Los Angeles delivery man told Vice. “Every time I have to turn right, it happens again. Then another car comes and cuts me off to get into my lane. Then the camera starts yelling at me in a deep robotic voice.”

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Amazon claims the company has seen a decline in accidents and other safety violations since it installed Netradyne cameras in its delivery vans.

If the camera detects potential unsafe “events”, they are factored into the employee’s performance scores. This reduces the chances of bonuses, extra wages and other benefits. It can even impact the revenue of a delivery service (Amazon Delivery Service Parter, also known as DSP) that Amazon hires.

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The deliverers can receive a performance score of ‘poor’, ‘average’, ‘good’ or ‘fantastic’. This is then also translated into the score that the DSP receives. If the delivery partner mainly employs “fantastic” drivers, they may be eligible for additional income.

Amazon doesn’t really want to pay

“Amazon says it’s mainly using the cameras to make delivery services more secure, but actually the company is using them to pay the DSPs less,” the owner of a delivery partner in Washington told Vice.

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“One of the security enhancements we rolled out this year involves camera-based security technology,” Amazon told Insider. “This technology provides drivers with real-time alerts to help them when they are on the road.”

The company adds that since the installation of the security software, the number of accidents has fallen by 48 percent. Stop sign violations decreased by 77 percent. Driving without a seatbelt was 60 percent less and distracted driving fell by 75 percent.

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According to Amazon, each delivery partner has received training explaining what the cameras do and how it can impact employee performance scores. According to the Washington delivery partner, Amazon has never offered him such training.

Tape up cameras and wear sunglasses

Some Amazon deliverers are now going so far as to cover the cameras in the vans with stickers.“When we tried to raise issues with the cameras with managers, it was simply brushed off the table. They only care about delivering packages. We’ll just cover them. It’s not commanded to us, but it’s kind of ‘what doesn’t know, what doesn’t hurt,'” a Kentucky delivery man tells Vice.

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In addition to stickers, delivery drivers also use sunglasses to trick the cameras. Then the system cannot interpret eye movements as distracted while driving. “The Netradyne cameras in our vans are nothing but a nightmare,” said a former Alabama delivery man. “I didn’t feel safer with a camera that recorded everything.”

According to the drivers, problems with the cameras are denied by Amazon. The tech giant tells Insider that each issue raised is reviewed manually. Incorrectly registered events will be removed and will not negatively impact delivery scores.

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Netradyne did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Author: Jobly