According to a news report posted on slashdot.org, Amazon’s algorithms are being blamed as the cause of a severe motor vehicle accident. The victim’s lawsuit against Amazon states that Amazon’s accident paralyzed an aspiring doctor. Amazon maintains it’s not liable for the accident.
The accident news report states that the accident victim was in riding in the rear seat of his brother’s Tesla Model S when an Amazon delivery van rear-ended the Tesla. The two passengers inside the Tesla were severely injured and transported to a local area emergency room. One of the accident victims sustained life-altering spinal and brain-cord injuries. The victim now requires a motorized wheelchair to move around. He also needs assistance with “simple tasks such as feeding himself or changing channels with a remote control.” Months prior to the accident, the victim was on his way to attending medical school to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor. Medical professionals caring for the victim are not certain if he will ever walk or regain the use of his arms.
The victims filed a lawsuit alleging that Amazon.com was responsible for the truck accident. The suit also claims that Amazon’s logistics operation apps, devices, and algorithms contributed to the severe accident.
According to Amazon, the retailer does not believe it is liable for the accident because the truck driver was employed by Harper Logistics. Harper Logistics is one of several thousand small businesses that deliver Amazon packages. Plaintiff’s complaint focuses on the critical role played by Amazon’s logistics algorithms. The victim is attempting to prove that Amazon actually controls the delivery operation and manages everything. The complaint states that Amazon determines many packages drivers deliver and whether the driver should remain or be fired. The lawsuit states that Amazon is not only a customer of Harper Logistics, but the company manages Harper Logistics. The lawsuit is seeking medical bills, a lifetime of diminished earnings, and other damages.
The report states that Amazon tracks all of the package delivery drivers’ moves, including speed, backup monitoring, acceleration, braking, cornering, phone calls, seatbelt usage, and texting. The report also states that the trucks are fitted with in-van cameras that utilize artificial intelligence to recognize for yawning. When the package delivery drivers get behind schedule, they receive text message warnings.
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