Amazon is reportedly installing AI-powered cameras in delivery vans to keep tabs on its drivers in the UK.
The technology was first deployed, with numerous errors reportedly denying drivers bonuses after malfunctions, in the United States. Last year, the internet giant produced a corporate video detailing how cameras monitor drivers’ driving behavior for safety reasons. The same system is now apparently rolling out to vehicles in the UK.
Several camera lenses are placed under the front mirror. One is directed towards the person driving, the other faces the road and two are located on each side to provide a wider view. The cameras are monitored by software designed by Netradyne, a computer vision startup focused on driver safety. This code uses machine learning algorithms to understand what is happening in and around the vehicle.
Audio alerts are triggered by certain behaviors, such as if a driver fails to brake at a stop sign or drives too fast. Other actions are recorded silently, such as if the driver is not wearing a seatbelt or if a camera’s view is blocked. Amazon would register workers and calculate a score from their activities that affects their compensation; drivers have already complained that they were unfairly deducted from premiums for behavior that the computer system wrongly labeled as reckless.
An Amazon spokesperson previously said The register the cameras were installed to encourage or help workers drive more safely and to help people track their packages. But not everyone is thrilled with the arrival of technology on Blighty. Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, a privacy-focused nonprofit, said the cameras were scary and should not be deployed.
“Plans for this excessive, intrusive and frightening surveillance of workers should be stopped immediately,” Carlo said. The register in a report.
“Amazon has a terrible reputation for intensely monitoring its lowest earners using often highly inaccurate Orwellian spying technologies, and then using that data to their disadvantage. This kind of directed surveillance could actually risk distracting drivers. , not to mention demoralizing them, is bad for workers’ rights and terrible for privacy in our country,” she said.
Amazon uses all sorts of tactics to monitor its employees. Employees have already said El Reg that being a warehouse worker during the COVID-19 pandemic was particularly challenging. Rising incoming order rates forced staff to work faster at the cost of increased risk of work-related injuries. It’s no surprise that the company is increasingly monitoring workers outside the warehouse.
Amazon did not respond to The registerrequest for comment. ®