The advent of technology has revolutionized the way we conduct ourselves on a daily basis. For instance, the use of Artificial Intelligence in the transport industry has made the work of delivery drivers easier and more efficient. However, the same technology has also introduced a level of scrutiny that some drivers find invasive.
An Amazon delivery driver took to social media to explain how the company’s AI camera system can flag delivery drivers for doing anything from taking a sip of coffee to failing to buckle their seatbelts enough times.
The TikTokker known as @ambergirts posted a video on Saturday breaking down how the tracking system works. Over the past two days, the video has garnered over 400,000 views.
In the TikTok, the Amazon driver explains how the four cameras on the Amazon delivery van monitor her driving, including one forward-facing camera, two cameras on the sides of the vehicle, and one in-cabin camera that faces the driver.
The driver explained that the camera facing forward monitors her following distance behind other cars, how well she responds to stop signs, and her speed. Any failure to comply with traffic rules leads to a violation. She said that if she fails to stop for a stop light entirely, follows a car too closely, or goes more than six miles per hour faster than the speed limit, she can be “dinged” with a violation.
The in-cabin camera tracks the driver’s movement, so the driver cannot move around freely or even drink coffee while driving.
“That camera is watching me while I drive, so I cannot do a lot. If I want a sip of my coffee, I have to pull over so that I can grab it and drink it because if I do it while I’m driving, then that’s a driver distracted, which is also a violation. I can’t touch the center console, or else that is a driver-distracted violation,” the TikTokker said.
The AI-powered camera system is so advanced that it can even detect when the driver is distracted or not wearing their seatbelt. The camera tracks the movement but does not have an audio option, which the driver described as a “nice” feature.
The camera has been used to determine the driver’s pay and employment status at Amazon. Each incident counts as one point that goes on a driver’s weekly scorecard, except for stop sign violations, which are weighted ten times higher, as reported by The Information in 2021.
Despite the obvious invasion of privacy, Amazon maintains that the cameras are meant to enhance safety and not to monitor the drivers’ every move. An Amazon spokesperson told Insider that drivers are encouraged to stay hydrated on the job and can turn the cameras off during breaks. The spokesperson confirmed that the cameras are not used as a live feed. Drivers who consider violations to be inaccurate are allowed to dispute them.
The AI camera system has significantly impacted the safety of Amazon’s delivery network. The company has reported a 35% reduction in collision rates across the network since installing the AI-powered cameras. The system has also reduced distracted driving, speeding, tailgating, sign and signal violations, and drivers not wearing their seatbelts.
While this technology is necessary for enhancing safety, drivers need to understand that it is not meant to monitor their every move. Instead, the cameras are only activated when the AI detects unsafe circumstances.
The incorporation of AI in the transportation industry has undoubtedly revolutionized the sector, with companies like Amazon having started to install AI-powered cameras in their delivery vans in 2021.
AI-powered cameras installed in Amazon delivery vans can detect safety violations, such as speeding and distracted driving, and send a live feed of the recording to managers. The cameras monitor a driver’s behavior but only activate when the built-in AI detects potentially unsafe situations, such as unexpected braking or distracted driving.
An Amazon delivery driver initially found the cameras annoying. However, he accepted the monitoring since it only affects drivers who violate safety regulations.