Amazon Drivers Are Punished When Others Cut Them Off: Report

  • Amazon’s AI cameras punish drivers who use side mirrors and get cut off, Motherboard reports.
  • Penalties like these affect workers ‘and DSPs’ performance stats and their chances of getting more money.
  • The drivers also told Motherboard that it is really difficult to appeal false violations.

Amazon drivers are being penalized for some driving habits that are considered safe and others that are beyond their control, Motherboard reported.

driver said motherboard that the AI-powered cameras in Amazon’s delivery van wrongly punished them for things like looking at the side mirrors, adjusting the radio, and even leaving someone else in traffic.

“It’s annoying when I haven’t done anything,” a Los Angeles delivery driver told Motherboard. “Every time I have to turn right it inevitably happens. A car interrupts me to get on my lane and the camera yells at me in that really dystopian dark robot voice.”

Whenever the Netradyne cameras Calling attention to possible unsafe driving “incidents” affect workers’ performance levels and, in turn, can affect their chances of getting bonuses, supplements and prizes. You can also affect the revenue of the Amazon delivery service partner itself.

These events help determine whether Amazon driver are rated “bad”, “mediocre”, “good” or “fantastic”. DSPs can only get bonuses for repairs, damage and other things if their drivers’ weekly results are in “fantastic” ranges.

“Amazon supposedly uses these cameras to make sure drivers drive safer, but they actually don’t use them to pay delivery companies,” a Washington DSP owner told Motherboard.

“One of the security improvements we’ve made this year is the introduction of industry-leading telematics and camera-based security technology into our delivery fleet,” Amazon said in a statement to Insider. “This technology gives drivers real-time alerts so they are safe on the road.”

The company added that since installing the cameras in more than half of its U.S. fleet, it has seen the following changes: accidents fewer by 48%, stop sign and signal violations reduced by 77%, follow-up distance reduced by 50%, driving without Seat belt reduced 60% and distracted driving reduced by 75%.

The Washington DSP owner told Motherboard that it was not trained in using the cameras. Amazon told Insider that each delivery company received training on the cameras and had to educate their employees about how “events” affected the results of the DSP.

Some Amazon drivers have resorted to covering their vans’ cameras with stickers to avoid unnecessary violations, Motherboard reported.

“If we brought up problems with the cameras, managers would throw it under the table, they just worry about getting the packages out,” a Kentucky delivery driver told Motherboard. “So let’s cover it up. They don’t tell us, but it’s like, ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.'”

Other workers wear sunglasses so that the cameras don’t interpret eye movements as distracted driving.

“The Netradyne cameras that Amazon installed in our vans were nothing but a nightmare,” a former Amazon driver in Alabama told Motherboard. “Personally, I didn’t feel safer with a camera watching my every move.”

Several drivers also told Motherboard that mislabeled “events” were difficult to appeal to Amazon and that their attempts to do so were often turned down.

Amazon said that insider appeals are checked manually and that erroneous “events” have no effect on DSPs or drivers.

Amazon had said in February that it would install the cameras in his van to increase security. The move has raised concerns about privacy and surveillance. The following month an Amazon driver has canceled the new camera installationtold the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “It was both an invasion of privacy and a breach of trust.” The system called Driveri, includes a front facing camera, two side cameras and another facing the driver.

Netradyne did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If you’re an Amazon delivery driver or warehouse worker and want to tell a story, you can contact this reporter at sjackson@insider.com.

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