Morning Money Minute…
Are you ready to let the car do the driving? That vision may be some way from reality, but for the first time crash tests are rating the performance of automatic braking systems in midsize cars and SUVs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has tested new technology in cars aimed at preventing frontal crashes.
"The ratings are designed to help consumers choose the systems that are worth the money and encourage manufacturers to install more of the systems on vehicles," says Russ Rader of the IIHS. The tests are conducted at 12 and 25 miles per hour, and each vehicle is given a rating of Superior, Advanced, or Basic.
The Cadillac ATS, Mercedes C-class, and Volvo S-60 sedans won superior ratings. "It's going to be years before truly driverless cars, autonomous vehicles are out in the road in any numbers," says Rader. "But the building blocks for that technology are already out on the road."
Changing trends are forcing new choices at America's leading fast food restaurants. Sales are flat and the industry is facing a growing campaign for more healthy choices. McDonald's says starting early next year customers will get the choice of a salad, fruit or vegetable as a substitute for French fries in its value meals.
The world's biggest hamburger chain made the announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, where CEO Don Thompson made an appearance with former President Bill Clinton. Thompson says the firm is looking at developing other healthy sides that will appeal to customers.
McDonald's also announced that it would use its packaging to make healthier options more appealing to kids. After years of outperforming its rivals, McDonald's is also struggling to shake its fast-food image and keep up with shifting tastes
Jack in the Box is heading off in a different direction, wooing customers Thursday by offering four new late-night meals ranging from 1,590 to 1,700 calories. The new Munchie Meals include: the Stacked Grilled Cheeseburger, the Exploding Cheesy Chicken Sandwich, Loaded Nuggets, and the Brunch Burger. They're available only from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and come packed with two tacos, fries and a large soda.
Also on the Morning Money agenda… A gathering storm cloud for financial markets as the third quarter comes to a close. Stock futures fell this morning with more worries about Washington gridlock over government funding and the debt ceiling. After five straight losing sessions stock averages closed higher yesterday.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, met at the Justice Department with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss a potential settlement over the bank's sales of flawed mortgage-backed securities. A deal to resolve government investigations into wrong doing at the bank could cist Chase more than $11 billion. That would be a record payment to the government by a single company
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow