Articles

Amazon is tracking delivery workers’ every move with an app that assigns them scores based on their driving

Originally published in Business Insider 12/18/19

Amazon contractors are using an app called Mentor to track delivery drivers’ behavior on the road.

  • Amazon contractors are using an app called Mentor to track delivery workers and score their driving behavior on a scale of 0 to 850, according to interviews with Amazon drivers.
  • Mentor is designed to encourage safe driving and penalizes Amazon drivers’ scores for hard braking, swerving around corners, rapid acceleration, speeding, and phone distraction. It also tracks seat belt usage, reversing, idling, and other behaviors.
  • “Safety is Amazon’s top priority,” Amazon said in a statement to Business Insider. “Whether it’s state-of-the-art telemetrics and advanced safety technology in last-mile vans, driver safety training programs, or continuous improvements within our mapping and routing technology, we have invested tens of millions of dollars in safety mechanisms across our network, and regularly communicate safety best practices to drivers.”
  • Vehicle tracking features, broadly referred to as telematics, are used by other carriers as well, including UPS. UPS said its telematics system helps identify maintenance problems, among other issues.
  • “We now know before a battery dies when it will die,” a UPS spokesperson said, adding, “if a driver isn’t making seatbelt use a habit, or has formed other bad habits, we use the telematics report as an awareness tool, discussing with the driver issues related to safety.”

Amazon contractors are using an app to track legions of delivery workers and score their driving behavior on a scale of 0 to 850, according to interviews with Amazon drivers.

The app, called Mentor, is designed to encourage safe driving and penalizes Amazon drivers’ scores for hard braking, swerving around corners, rapid acceleration, speeding, and phone distraction.

Drivers are dinged for distraction if they pick up or touch their phone while their vehicles are in motion. If workers are driving a branded Amazon van outfitted with a telematics device, the app will track whether they are wearing a seatbelt while their vehicle is moving faster than 6 miles per hour, and record how many times the van reverses more than 5 yards, according to interviews and information available on a support site for Amazon drivers using the Mentor app.

Mentor provides daily reports detailing workers’ driving scores and any behavior that earned them penalties, which the app calls “events.” Each event is linked to a corresponding map showing exactly when and where the bad behavior was recorded.

Data collected by Mentor is shared with drivers’ managers, according to eDriving, the company that developed the app.