This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Auto insurers prepare for self-driving cars and frayed nerves

The university and the car maker will take the lead on the mechanical development of the new Ford Fusion Hybrid, which will come equipped with four rooftop 360-degree infrared sensors that scan the surroundings millions of times a second and report back to a 3-D map. This is comparable to the way a bat uses its sensors to navigate at night.

State Farm will "provide insight from many years of claims experience and our knowledge of driver behavior and know-how to help make the vehicle safe," says Csanda.

Battle of the 'black box'

As advanced technology infiltrates a car, the most important piece of the puzzle will be the "black box" positioned under the steering wheel that monitors the driver's activity. Almost all new cars have them, and most simply record what happens prior to and during a crash. But this monitor, and who has access to it, will become even more important in the future.

It will be able to tell whether the driver or the car's computer was in control of the vehicle at the time of a crash, something insurance companies, car makers, law enforcement and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will want to know. Another possible argument after a crash: How long did it take the computer to transition control of the car to or from the driver, and what happened in those few, possibly fatal, seconds.

A future black box would also monitor the "health" of the computer that drives the autonomous car. If an owner fails to maintain it or repair a known malfunction, he or she could be held responsible for a computer failure.

Trying to keep pace

Driverless technology could outpace the roads it will travel on and the laws that will govern it, as well as public acceptance. A recent survey by Chubb Corp. showed that 70 percent of Americans preferred driving themselves, only 4 percent wanted a driverless car and just 22 percent would even let their families get into an autonomous vehicle.

2 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,808.43 -6.51 -0.04%
S&P 500 2,068.61 +1.58 0.08%
NASDAQ 4,773.1980 +14.9460 0.31%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs