Lawmaker Wants State Ready for Self Driving Cars

Talk in Olympia on Wednesday turned to driverless cars, and what Washington can do to welcome the future. Dan Frizzell from the Washington State House Democratic Caucus has that story.

HUDGINS: “It’s clear that autonomous vehicles are in our future.  I think they’re going to be great at some point, but the state’s not ready for them.” 

Representative Zack Hudgins has followed the development of self-driving cars and trucks for quite a while, and as you just heard, he’s a fan.  But his tech background helps him see some of the challenges and potential pitfalls of introducing such a radical change into a society that was getting around on horses just a few generations ago.

HUDGINS: “We need to pull together to look at these future vehicles, their impact on our communities.  We’re pulling together people from the governor’s office, from state agencies, from the Legislature, from insurance companies and the private sector, manufacturers and developers.  We’re putting all of that into one place so we can have a discussion about what do we do to get ready for the future.” 

Hudgins, a Democrat from Tukwila, worked with lawmakers from both parties to craft a bill that creates a work group like the one he just described, and the House OK’d it Thursday with a lopsided 96-to-2 vote.  The Senate now has 22 days to act on the bill and send it to the governor’s desk.  In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.