Suncor Energy Inc. has decided to deploy driver-less ore-hauling trucks at it’s oilsands mines in northern Alberta.
The trucks will eliminate around 500 positions, however Suncor CEO Mark Little says they will also be adding about 100 jobs, so the net change is about 400 positions.
Suncor has been testing 400-tonne capacity Komatsu trucks for nearly four years and already own nine.
The plan is for the company to eventually build a fleet of 150 trucks over the next six years.
Suncor is the first oilsands mining company to implement the new technology.
Little says the company is working with the Unifor union to minimize job impacts by retraining workers whose jobs will disappear.
Suncor has also started hiring its current truck drivers on a temporary basis.
The company says they earliest there will be a decrease in heavy equipment operator positions is 2019.