Amazon is installing new AI-powered cameras in its delivery vans which will record everything a driver does, sparking concern among privacy advocates.
The new AI-powered video cameras, developed by Netradyne, are designed to improve safety for both drivers and pedestrians by providing drivers with warnings about issues like speeding and distracted driving.
They have reportedly been shown to reduce collisions by a third and improve driver behaviour, and are already being rolled out across Amazon’s delivery service partner programme (DPS) fleet.
Netradyne’s Driver(i) cameras use four lenses to capture the road, driver and both sides of the vehicle and can detect 16 different safety infractions.
According to an instructional video released by Amazon, the cameras will constantly record footage, but only upload footage when triggered by actions like hard braking, following vehicles too closely and driver drowsiness.
“We are investing in safety across our operations and recently started rolling out industry leading camera-based safety technology across our delivery fleet,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC.
“This technology will provide drivers real-time alerts to help them stay safe when they are on the road.”
Some drivers, who wished to remain anonymous, told CNBC that they felt “unnerved” by the cameras and that they would add further stress to their already hectic workload.
One driver said that if they are caught yawning, the camera will instruct them to pull over for at least 15 minutes, leading to a call from the company if they fail to comply.
The footage can be used by Amazon to make employment decisions, and drivers say they have been subject to disciplinary actions due to safety infractions logged by the cameras.