Amazon’s AI security monitoring systems inside its delivery trucks seem like something out of a dystopian future novel. In a video uploaded by user @ambergirts on TikTok, she explains all of the tracking systems in work vans that are designed to ding workers for violations.
Some of the safety features are understandable, like ensuring drivers aren’t getting up from their seat unless the van is in park. Others, however, seem a bit like overkill, like writing drivers up for taking a sip of a beverage while driving, or counting every single time they buckle and un-buckle their seatbelts.
The worker says a camera monitors the drivers at all times and often mistakenly recognizes certain behaviors, like scratching one’s face as talking on a cell phone.
@ambergirts explaining amazon things ✨ have a great day 🏼 #fyp #trending #amazon #amazondelivery #amazondeliverydriver ♬ original sound – ambergirts
In the clip, the driver explains how much the cameras can actually monitor. She shows the driver’s area along with a massive screen in the center console. Right above it, located beneath the rearview mirror, is a box with the word “driver” written on it.
“That little guy is how we are tracked,” she says. “It’s probably recording me recording it, but it can’t hear me so that’s nice.”
She explains how it has one camera facing her as she drives, one facing forward, and then “one camera on each side.”
“The one camera in front checks how close we are to other drivers and if we stop at stop signs,” she says. “So if we don’t stop at a stop sign and like fully stop then we get a violation for that.”
The TikToker continues listing all the violations drivers could get flagged for, like tracking if they go more than six miles over the speed limit and how many times they unbuckle and buckle their seatbelts.
“But also that camera is watching me while I drive so I cannot do a lot,” she continues. “If I want a sip of my coffee, I have to pull over so that I can grab it and drink it. Because if I do it while I’m driving then that’s a ‘driver distracted’ which is also a violation.”
The rules don’t end there— she lists how touching the center console is also a ‘distracted driver’ violation.
“One guy was itching his face, his beard, one time, and the camera picked it up that he was on the phone and so he got a driver distracted violation for itching his face but they disputed it,” she says.
She concludes, “So yeah, everyone who works for Amazon pretty much hates those little things but we have to remember it’s just for safety.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator and Amazon via email for further comment.
Viewers remarked that they thought the protocols were overkill, with a top comment reading, “That’s way too much micro management.”
Others were shocked that they would have a blemish on their record for taking a sip of an iced coffee or a beverage while driving.
“Would never ever drive for a company that gave me a violation for taking a drink lol,” one user shared. Even though the NHTSA classifies drinking non-alcoholic beverages as a distraction, it is not against the law to do so.
Others weren’t so convinced that the devices don’t record workers, while some remarked, “talk about having a boss breathing down your shoulder.”
User @joannal218 wrote, “I would straight fail without even knowing what I did wrong,” to which the creator replied, “lmao this happens a lot actually.”
TikTokers also shared that the worker’s video helped to explain some of the behaviors they examined of Amazon delivery drivers.
“So now I know why our Amazon drivers rather just run the packages up and down the street instead of buckling a seat belt every three houses,” a user wrote.
Another joked, “Don’t tell them that ups is driving with the door open.”
It’s unclear as to whether these safety features are necessarily resulting in fewer injuries for delivery drivers. CNBC reported in 2021 that almost one out of every five Amazon couriers were injured on the job. The Dallas Legal Examiner also wrote, “The study by the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) examined injury reports from about 10% of Amazon’s DSPs, and it identified an unsettling statistic: almost 20% of Amazon delivery drivers employed through third-party companies were injured on the job in 2021.”