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Amazon to bring AI driver monitoring to the UK

Complete surveillance.

Amazon is installing AI-powered cameras in delivery vans in the UK. The tech giant rolled out the cameras in the US last year, but errors that led to drivers being wrongly denied bonuses were reported.

The tech giant is installing several cameras under the front mirror. One of the cameras faces the road, another faces the driver, and the other two are on each side. While rolling out the technology in the US, Amazon said it was for monitoring drivers’ behaviors to promote safety.

The AI-powered cameras trigger audio alerts for some behaviors, like overspeeding or ignoring a stop sign. The cameras also silently log other behaviors, such as blocking the view of the cameras or not wearing a seatbelt. The company then calculates the driver’s behavior and computes a score that affects their pay.

In a previous interview, a spokesperson for Amazon told The Register that the cameras’ purpose is to encourage drivers to drive safely and allow customers to track their packages.

However, in the US, drivers have complained about being denied bonuses after the cameras wrongly logged their behavior as careless.

Privacy activists have warned that the AI-powered cameras are a privacy infringement and “creepy.”

“Plans for this excessive, intrusive, and creepy worker surveillance should be immediately stopped,” Big Brother Watch director Silkie Carlo told The Register.

“Amazon has a terrible track record of intensely monitoring their lowest wage earners using Orwellian, often highly inaccurate, spying technologies, and then using that data to their disadvantage. This kind of directed surveillance could actually risk distracting drivers, let alone demoralizing them. It is bad for workers’ rights and awful for privacy in our country.”

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