Amazon algorithms may be responsible for auto accidents

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2021 | Car Accidents

Amazon is a seemingly ubiquitous presence in New York neighborhoods. Just about everywhere you look, you’ll find a package or truck bearing the company’s name and logo. Surprisingly, however, many of the delivery vehicles on the road that don’t bear this branding are also part of the Amazon delivery system. One victim of a crash with one of these contracted vehicles believes that Amazon algorithms are responsible for the accident that left the man unable to use his arms or legs.

Amazon won’t accept liability for accidents caused by contracted companies

Being struck by a commercial vehicle can be life-altering. Motor vehicle accidents like these can cause debilitating and disfiguring injuries, traumatic brain injury and more. In the case of one man, an Amazon order delivery was being transported by Harper Logistics, LLC. It’s but one of the many companies that deliver Amazon packages. However, Amazon asserts that it’s not legally responsible for the accident given that the man was not struck by one of the company’s own trucks.

Amazon algorithms lie at the heart of Harper Logistics’ trucking operations

The man’s attorney is building a case on the fact that the delivery operations of Harper Logistics, LLC are driven by Amazon’s own algorithms. The devices and software that Amazon uses for third-party delivery services management play a key role in controlling the actions of the drivers that support fulfillment needs. This includes directing hiring and firing decisions and determining how many packages must be delivered to avoid penalties.

In-vehicle tracking by Amazon technologies is extensive. Among some of the factors that Amazon tracking software detects are:

  • Braking and acceleration
  • Seat belt use
  • Mobile phone use
  • Signs of driver fatigue

The man’s attorney maintains that Amazon is hyper-aware of third-party drivers and ultimately in control of many of their driving decisions. In addition, the attorney claims that Amazon maintains incredibly unrealistic delivery expectations.

Seeking compensation after an accident

Facing large companies like Amazon is incredibly challenging for victims who have sustained serious and potentially permanent physical injuries. The approach in this case attempts to draw a clear line between third-party fulfillment companies that work for Amazon and the Amazon algorithms and technologies that control their driving decisions. If successful, this case might bring an end to Amazon’s long-running avoidance of liability.