Travelers Institute Teams Up With Carnegie Mellon University and RAND Corporation to Host Automated Vehicle Symposium

November 21, 2019

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), will host a symposium today at Carnegie Mellon University. The program, “Transforming the Driving Experience: Automated Vehicle Technologies and Human Attention,” will bring together experts to address the safety, regulatory and insurance implications of advanced technologies that are on the road today.

In a recent survey of 500 Pittsburgh-area residents, Travelers found that only 30% of people feel comfortable with semiautonomous vehicles operating on the road and only 31% feel comfortable riding in a vehicle equipped with this technology. In addition, more than two-thirds of those surveyed feel that semiautonomous technology would reduce their ability to react quickly behind the wheel.

“While a fully driverless world may be years away, semiautonomous vehicle technology is a reality today and introduces new risks for everyone, including pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers,” said Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. “Understanding how to properly and safely use these new vehicle technologies, and grasping their limitations, will be an important element of roadway safety efforts for the foreseeable future.”

Today’s symposium, held in partnership with the RAND Institute for Civil Justice and Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 Institute, will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET and feature a panel discussion moderated by Woodward, which will include:

  • James Anderson, Director, Justice Policy Program; Director, RAND Institute for Civil Justice; Senior Behavioral Scientist; RAND Corporation.
  • Karina Ricks, Director, Mobility and Infrastructure, City of Pittsburgh.
  • Dr. Constantine Samaras, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Elaine Montgomery Baisden, Vice President, Product Management, Personal Insurance, Travelers.

“The adoption of automated vehicles could dramatically improve safety on our roadways, but more people-centered policy and research are needed to maximize the benefits while minimizing the challenges,” said Dr. Samaras, who will deliver today’s keynote presentation. “This event is an opportunity to advance the conversation around the many potential impacts of this evolving technology.”

As part of its effort to improve auto safety, Travelers recently joined the Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), two organizations working to strategically advance research and public information about automated vehicle and driver assistance technologies.

Travelers’ white paper, titled Insuring Autonomy: How auto insurance can adapt to changing risks, offers an assessment of the existing auto insurance structure, both personal and commercial, in the context of resolving claims and providing fair compensation to crash victims as vehicles become more autonomous. The white paper also describes how the development and rollout of automated vehicle technology will help spur innovation, increase public safety and protect American drivers and consumers.

“We’re working to understand how new driving systems will impact our communities and how we can prepare for that potential disruption to maintain safety and improve equity and access. Collaborating with experts across public and private sectors is an invaluable part of that process,” said Ricks.

For more information on today’s event, visit the Travelers Institute’s website.

About the Travelers Institute

The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and to the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management, as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information, analysis and solutions to public policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit

Stephanie Arpin, 860.277.8876

Source: The Travelers Companies, Inc.