Amazon’s Cost Saving Routing Algorithm Makes Drivers Walk Into Traffic

Mike, an Amazon delivery driver in central Florida, is accustomed to jogging back and forth across three-lane highways to deliver packages. He has sprinted across busy commercial streets during rush hour, and crossed rural highways on foot at sundown…

If it were up to him, Mike said, he would never run across a highway with his arms full of packages. But the routing algorithm designed for its Flex app by Amazon’s research scientists often makes it unavoidable, according to a source with direct knowledge of Amazon’s routing algorithm. In North America and Europe, roughly 85,000 contracted delivery drivers rely on this algorithm to do their jobs. While crossing the street in a quiet suburban neighborhood is probably safe, doing so on a 50 mph highway can be deadly.