Oilsands trucks are among the biggest in the world. A ginormous Alberta oilsands site is planning to replace hundreds of highly paid workers with autonomous, self-driving trucks. The ripple effect from the loss of those jobs will be devastating for the area. Support businesses, restaurants, etc. will go out of business. Driverless vehicles are coming, and in a big way. And the trend is irreversible.
Will driverless vehicles be safe? Mostly, I’m guessing. However there will almost certainly horrendous accidents when parts fail, GPS go down, or systems get hijacked (and they will.) What happens to all the unemployed truck drivers? Going from $200,000 a year to making nothing as your job gets replaced by robots will be jarring. Multiply that by tens of millions, and that will give some idea of what is coming.
Autonomous trucks will save the oilsands owners $160 million a year in salaries.
“That will take 800 people off our site,” Cowan said of the trucks. “At an average (salary) of $200,000 per person, you can see the savings we’re going to get from an operations perspective.”