Amazon has developed its own in-house app called Mentor that it uses to track the site and evaluate the performance of third-party delivery drivers, according to To report New from CNBC.
The app tracks the driver’s location at all times and also generates a daily score that affects performance ratings, with low scores potentially damaging the outside delivery company’s relationship with Amazon for future contracts, the report notes.
Amazon considers the app a tool to improve safety, but drivers are concerned that Mentor is also a tool for monitoring and as another form of pressure applied to workers to make sure they deliver packages as quickly as possible.
And earlier this month, a promotional video from Amazon revealed a new initiative that includes always-on security cameras from a company called Netradyne that are used to monitor driver performance, causing concern.
A spokesperson for Amazon said: Safety is our top priority, and we have invested tens of millions of dollars in safety mechanisms across our network in order to provide best safety practices for drivers.
“We use the latest in remote measurement and advanced truck safety technology, driver safety training programs, and continuous improvements in our mapping and steering technology,” he added.
As its operations expand, Amazon has increasingly built its own delivery infrastructure, part of which is the DPS Delivery Service Program, which Contracts outside companies to assist with delivery.
And Amazon is using its drivers to cut costs and increase the speed and efficiency of deliveries, as part of its broader effort to own more of its logistics chain through purchases of freight and aircraft.
There were driver and pedestrian safety issues, and Amazon avoided direct accountability for accidents, injuries, and even deaths at the hands of drivers delivering packages to customers’ homes due to the nature of the work contract.
However, the company has been criticized for using software and other tools to prioritize speed of delivery at the expense of potential safety concerns.
As a result, Amazon has begun to exercise increased control over its drivers by managing the road and monitoring behavior at all times with the goal of improving safety.
Monitor app and always-on surveillance cameras are part of these measures, although some drivers are concerned about the extent of these techniques.
Drivers gather and discuss ways to try to tamper with the system, as they tried wrapping phones in vests and storing them in a glove box because The Monitor app marks delivery as complete if the leg raises its phone.
There are also concerns about location sharing permissions, as drivers are required to download the app via personal devices and enable Always allow location sharing, so that Amazon goes beyond its limits in terms of driver privacy.