E-commerce retailer Amazon has started deploying artificial intelligence (AI)- powered cameras made by US-based start-up Netradyne in delivery vehicles.

Dubbed Driveri, the smart camera, designed to detect 16 different safety issues, has four lenses to capture the vehicle’s side views, road and the driver.

The development was first reported by The Information and followed up by CNBC.

The devices, installed inside Amazon-branded cargo vans, provide feedback in real-time to the drivers as well as monitors their performance.

An Amazon spokesperson Deborah Bass told CNBC: “We are investing in safety across our operations and recently started rolling out industry-leading camera-based safety technology across our delivery fleet.

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

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Meanwhile, the safety initiative is already facing criticism from a non-profit advocacy group in digital rights, Fight for the Future.

The group also launched a campaign to stop Amazon’s plan.

Fight for the Future deputy director Evan Greer said: “This amounts to the largest expansion of corporate surveillance in human history. Amazon wants to turn their massive delivery fleet into an army of mobile Ring surveillance cameras.

“These devices will exacerbate the unsafe and inhumane working conditions that Amazon’s contract delivery drivers are already subjected to. And they’ll violate everyone’s basic rights by constantly collecting and analysing footage of our neighbourhoods, our homes, and our children.”

In a separate development, Amazon and Rivian commenced testing of custom electric delivery vehicles on delivery routes in Los Angeles.