Haul truck automation to impact equipment operators
Trucks that drive themselves will mean Suncor drivers will soon be looking for work.
The six-year deployment of more than 150 electric autonomous haul trucks at Suncor Energy Inc.’s operated-mines is expected to affect equipment operator positions as early as 2019.
According to the Canadian Press, the Calgary-based oil and gas firm will continue to work with the union on strategies to minimize workforce impacts, with phased implementation to start at its North Steepbank mine.
The company says the implementation of AHS will change roles and required skill sets for some employees at Suncor’s operations over time.
Suncor says, following evaluations completed over the past four years, it has validated that AHS technology can be used safely, effectively and efficiently in its operating environment.
It says the technology offers many advantages over existing truck and shovel operations, including enhanced safety performance, better operating efficiency and lower operating costs.
Suncor told Canadian Press that its planned deployment of AHS technology is one of the largest such investments in the world.