In a bid to heighten road safety and enhance its vehicle maintenance, Amazon has recently unveiled an Automated Vehicle Inspection (AVI) technology, powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This novel system can pinpoint even minuscule anomalies in Amazon delivery vans, such as tire deformities or warped body pieces, before they morph into on-road issues.
- AVI performs a full-vehicle scan within seconds to detect and report issues.
- Amazon collaborated with tech startup UVeye for the rollout of AVI in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and the UK.
- The technology was initially crafted for under-vehicle scans at borders and has now evolved to cater to Amazon’s extensive delivery fleet.
Amazon’s venture into AI-empowered vehicle inspection marks a significant stride toward ensuring the safety and efficiency of its global delivery fleet. The introduction of AVI is expected to revolutionize vehicle maintenance by making inspections faster, more accurate, systematic, and objective, which is a game-changer for fleet maintenance. For instance, it was found that 35% of all detected issues were related to tires, something not easily spotted by manual inspections. With AVI, notifications for tire replacements are sent out before they escalate into larger problems, thereby preventing potential road mishaps and ensuring a smooth delivery experience.
A Closer Look at AVI:
The AVI technology operates by conducting a full-vehicle scan as DSP drivers drive through an AVI archway and over a series of plates laden with sensors and cameras at the end of each workday. With the vehicle rolling at a modest 5 mph, the AI system performs a scan in a few seconds, categorizes the identified problems based on their severity, and instantly relays the results to a computer. This rapid and precise assessment enables timely fixes and ensures well-maintained vehicles on the road the next day.
The Impact on Delivery Drivers:
The integration of AI in vehicle inspections is not just about maintaining the vans; it’s about safeguarding the drivers and by extension, the customers. The heightened safety measures cater to the nearly 280,000 drivers delivering around 20 million packages daily. Moreover, the technology’s scalability is beneficial given the extensive network of Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners (DSP).
Concerns and Criticisms:
However, not all is smooth sailing. There have been concerns regarding AI penalizing drivers for errors they didn’t commit, which could inadvertently cost delivery companies significantly.
Amazon’s leap towards AI-driven vehicle inspections is a testament to its commitment towards enhancing road safety and the efficiency of its delivery fleet. While this move is lauded for its potential in preventing on-road mishaps and ensuring vehicle maintenance, it also brings to light the need for a balanced approach to avoid undue penalties on drivers.