Amazon is looking to raise the bar on vehicle safety and reduce crash frequency and severity.
The company said it is making a $200 million investment in new safety technology as part of its continuing work to ensure Amazon vehicles and its delivery partners are safe on the road. In many cases, the innovations are also better for the environment, the company noted.
Amzon is currently piloting strobing brake light technology in some of its trailers to provide greater visibility during braking to others on the road. The technology has the potential to reduce rear-end collisions by as much as 30%, according to Amazon.
Also, later this year, the company will begin deploying a new safety feature in its trucking fleet that uses digital side mirror camera technology to reduce blind spots and enhance the overall safety of its trucks.
“As we pilot new technologies and learn about the safety efficacy, we’ll be able to make data-driven decisions about whether and how to deploy these and other technologies broadly across our fleet of vehicles and trailers,” wrote Udit Madan, VP of Amazon Transportation, in a post on the company’s website.
Amazon is also investing to expand in-vehicle camera safety technology across its last-mile delivery network.
The company begain outfitting Amazon-braded delivery vans in the U.S. with the technology, which identifies safety events and provides real-time alerts, in 2020. Since rolling it out, Amazon said it has seen a 35% reduction in accident rates across its network.
“This technology is a game-changer and will be in nearly 100% of Amazon branded vehicles by April 2023,” Madan said.
The technology is one of the safety features in Amazon’s custom electric delivery vehicles (EDVs) from Rivian, which are now delivering Amazon packages in more than 100 cities nationwide. The vans also include a 360-degree camera detection system so drivers can see exactly what’s next to them as they back up and turn, emergency braking, rollaway detection, and more.
Amazon has equipped its “middle mile” trucking network, which is responsible for shipping packages to and from its operations sites before they’re dispatched for last-mile delivery, with leading safety technology that includes automatic emergency braking, front-collision warning, stability control, lane-departure warning, side-object detection, adaptive cruise control and speed limiters.
Also, since 2017, Amazon tractors have also been equipped with driver-facing cameras that can help identify unsafe behaviors, such as distracted driving, so drivers can be coached to prevent those behaviors from happening again. Amazon said its trailers are outfitted with sensors to monitor lights, anti-lock braking systems, cargo and door sensors, and more.
And outside of its fleet, Amazon has invested heavily in its route planning navigation systems and predictive analytics software to better monitor fleet safety.
“All of this is embedded into our mobile technology, called Relay, that connects carriers and drivers to Amazon, and provides them with navigation assistance, real-time driver-facing alerts, safety performance summaries, and additional safety learning,” Madan explained.
“We’re excited about the progress we’ve made to date and what our continued investments in 2023 will mean as we work to continuously improve in both safety and sustainability,” Madan said. “We will continue to invest and invent to ensure our trucks, delivery vans, trailers, and drivers are among the safest on the road.”