A scene from the instructional video on Amazon’s Netradyne Camera System.

AI Has an Eye on Amazon Delivery Workers Who Say It Unfairly Rates Their Driving

When they say Big Brother is watching, it’s true—at least when it comes to Amazon’s delivery drivers. That’s not making them very happy, even though Amazon says it’s making drivers safer.

The IT involved, Netradyne cameras, are AI-driven assistants. These things are fussy and they are equipped with a ‘really dystopian dark, robotic voice.

An article on news.yahoo.com points out just how strict and observant these cameras are while pointed at drivers’ faces as well as watching traffic outside the vehicle.

“It’s upsetting when I didn’t do anything,” a Los Angeles delivery driver told Motherboard. “Every time I need to make a right-hand turn, it inevitably happens. A car cuts me off to move into my lane, and the camera, in this really dystopian dark, robotic voice, shouts at me.”

So the system doesn’t seem to take the other traffic into consideration when rating the driver on each of their trips. Seems a bit unfair. And it affects their rate of pay.

These events help decide whether Amazon drivers are given ratings of “poor,” “fair,” “good,” or “fantastic.” Amazon Delivery Service Providers (DSPs), which employ and manage the drivers, can get bonuses to put toward repairs, damages, and other things only if their drivers’ combined weekly scores land in “fantastic” territory.

Now before Amazon is made to look like the monster it really is ( no taxes paid in 2020)  we have to consider that they in fact are showing improvement in their driver’s performances and a lessening of accidents. Really big improvement.

Since installing the cameras in more than half of its U.S. fleet, accidents decreased 48%, stop-sign and signal violations decreased 77%, following distance issues decreased 50%, driving without a seat belt decreased 60%, and distracted driving decreased 75%.

That kind of improvement is impressive, but the drivers still don’t like this assistant watching their every move, including their eye movements. Sometimes they just cover the cameras up.

“If we brought up problems with the cameras, managers would brush it under the table, they’re only worried about getting the packages out,” a Kentucky delivery driver told Motherboard. “So we cover them up. They don’t tell us to, but it’s kind of like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.'”

Other workers wore sunglasses so the cameras wouldn’t interpret eye movement as distracted driving.

“The Netradyne cameras that Amazon installed in our vans have been nothing but a nightmare,” a former Amazon driver in Alabama told Motherboard. “I personally did not feel any more safe with a camera watching my every move.”

Amazon said in February that it would install the cameras in its delivery vans to improve safety. The move raised concerns about privacy and surveillance.

read more at news.yahoo.com