An Amazon delivery driver recently shared on social media how the company’s AI camera system may be used to flag delivery drivers for everything from taking a sip of coffee to not fastening their seatbelts enough.
On Saturday, the TikTok user @ambergirts published a video explaining the operation of the tracking device. The Amazon driver describes in TikTok how the four cameras on the Amazon delivery truck looking ahead, two on the sides and one inside the cabin facing the driver—monitor her driving. Nearly 400,000 people have watched the video in the last two days.
An Amazon spokesperson informed that when taking breaks, drivers might switch off the cameras
According to her, the camera that faces ahead would record her speed, her following distance behind other vehicles, and how quickly she stops at stop signs. She said she might receive a penalty if she doesn’t stop completely at a stop sign, follows a car too closely, or drives more than six miles per hour over the posted limit. She said that the in-cabin camera records her every action when she is in the driver’s seat.
“That camera is watching me while I drive so I cannot do a lot,” she said in the video. “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 than that’s a driver distracted, which is also a violation. I can’t touch the centre console, or else that is a driver-distracted violation.”
An Amazon representative told Insider that drivers might turn the cameras off when taking breaks and are advised to remain hydrated while at work. The representative reaffirmed that the cameras provide no live feed.
According to the TikTokker, one driver received a distracted infraction for scratching his beard while operating a vehicle, which the tracking system mistook for holding a phone to his face. The driver, she claimed, contested the infraction. The Amazon driver said that the car also keeps track of how frequently she fastens her seatbelt and that if she doesn’t do it frequently enough, she risked receiving a “seatbelt violation.” The driver claimed that although the camera can detect movement, it has no audio option—a feature she called “nice.”
AI powered cameras in its delivery vehicles
The Amazon driver added in the TikTok video, “So everyone who works for Amazon pretty much hates those little things, but we have to remember it’s just for safety.”
According to an Amazon spokesman who talked to Insider, drivers can contest any violations they believe to be erroneous. An amazon spokesperson said, “the safety technology in delivery vans helps keep drivers and the communities where we deliver safe, and claims that these cameras are intended for anything else are incorrect.” “Since we started using them, we’ve seen a 35% reduction in collision rates across the network along with a reduction in distracted driving, speeding, tailgating, sign and signal violations, and drivers not wearing their seatbelts.”
In 2021, Amazon started using AI-powered cameras in its delivery vehicles. At the time, the business claimed that the four cameras enabled the cars to alert drivers to 16 safety infractions, such as speeding and texting while driving. According to a previous Insider story, the technology tracks when drivers yawn, speed, or glance away from the road. It may then offer supervisors a live stream of the 360-degree film. The cameras don’t operate continually, according to Amazon, but only when the in-built AI recognizes potentially hazardous conditions like sudden braking or inattentive driving.
The cameras were first the “most annoying the job,” according to an Amazon delivery driver, but since they only affect drivers who violate safety regulations, he has grown to tolerate the surveillance.