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Inslee Tests High-Tech Tesla, Talks Future Of Self-Driving Cars

Jeanie Lindsay
Northwest News Network
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee prepares to drive away in a semi-autonomous Tesla in a demonstration for the press Monday.

Policymakers in Washington state have been chewing over how to regulate cars that can fully drive themselves. On Monday morning, Gov. Jay Inslee test drove a “semi-autonomous” Tesla.

Inslee said he’d be eager to get those cars on the road for safety reasons.

“If we could reduce the number of those accidents that humans cause -- which are 94 percent of all fatalities -- we’re excited about getting people home at night rather than being a fatality on our roadway,” the governor said.

The car Inslee tried out isn’t quite driverless. But it can go on auto-pilot, parallel park and assist with lane changes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agreed that improved safety could be a major perk of self-driving cars. In a set of guidelines released last year they encouraged states to work together on making policy.

Private citizens may not be able to buy driverless cars anytime soon. Past reports indicate they would be released to commercial buyers before the rest of the public.