Amazon Announces Totally Not Alarming Plan to Install Surveillance Cameras in Every Delivery Vehicle

Illustration for article titled Amazon Announces Totally Not Alarming Plan to Install Surveillance Cameras in Every Delivery Vehicle
Photo: Justin Sullivan / Staff (Getty Images)

Not content to only wield its creepy surveillance infrastructure against warehouse workers and employees considering unionization, Amazon is reportedly gearing up to install perpetually-on cameras inside its fleet of delivery vehicles as well.


A new report from The Information claims that Amazon recently shared the plans in an instructional video sent out to the contractor workers who drive the Amazon-branded delivery vans.

In the video, the company reportedly explains to drivers that the high-tech video cameras will use artificial intelligence to determine when drivers are engaging in risky behavior, and will give out verbal warnings including “Distracted driving,” “No stop detected” and “Please slow down.”

According to a video posted to Vimeo a week ago, the hardware and software for the cameras will be provided through a partnership with California-based company Netradyne, which is also responsible for a platform called Driveri that similarly uses artificial intelligence to analyze a driver’s behavior as they operate a vehicle.

While the camera’s automated feedback will be immediate, other data will also reportedly be stored for later analysis that will help the company to evaluate its fleet of drivers.

Although it’s not clear when Amazon plans to install the cameras or how many of the vehicles in the company’s massive fleet will be outfitted with them, the company told The Information in a statement that the software will be implemented in the spirit of increasing safety precautions and not, you know, bolstering an insidious and growing surveillance apparatus.

“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 said. “This technology will provide drivers real-time alerts to help them stay safe when they are on the road.”


Sure, this is the company that routinely prioritizes the speed with which a customer receives a 12-pack of Charmin toilet paper over the literal lives of its workers, but hey, no reason to be skeptical about any of this at all.

Infinite monkeys typing infinite blogs



I mean why the hell not? They install cameras in their own warehouses, I’m sure. They have a right to monitor their own employees and their property. I think any time surveillance is mentioned in combination with big businesses people like to default to the kneejerk reaction of “that’s bad and creepy and it shouldn’t happen.” I don’t really think it’s a big deal in this scenario. Now if they installed facial recognition and partnered with police to grant access to their cameras to monitor the public, yeah I could see how THAT would be bad. But this isn’t that. If police need to wear bodycams at work, I see no difference that an employer would want to keep an eye on delivery drivers. If it keeps them from mishandling packages or keeps stuff from going missing, I have no issue with it.