Canada’s largest oil company announced on Wednesday that they will be cutting about 400 heavy-equipment operator positions over the next six years as they phase in a new fleet of self-driving trucks.
The company, Suncor Energy based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, announced on Wednesday, January 31st, that it plans to deploy over 150 driver-less trucks, leading to job cuts starting as soon as 2019. At present, Suncor has nine self-driving trucks moving building materials at a job site in Alberta, making it one of the first companies in Canada to use autonomous trucks, reported Rueters.
According to CBC News, each job site will feature its own control center to manage the Komatsu autonomous vehicles, which will be specially programmed for optimum performance in the unique conditions of each job site. The self-driving trucks can operate 24 hours a day, stopping only for fuel, and their tires even last 40% longer by avoiding the sudden acceleration and abrupt steering caused by human driver error. Because of these statistics, Chief Operating Officer Mark Little believes that the $5 million apiece autonomous vehicles will not only reduce operating costs but increase overall safety at job sites.