Gov. Inslee moves forward with self-driving car initiative

SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee is moving forward with his pledge to bring self-driving cars to Washington.

On Wednesday, his office welcomed a Torc Robotics vehicle to Seattle, marking the first certified autonomous vehicle pilot test in the state since the governor issued an executive order last month to support autonomous vehicle technology.

Torc Robotics, a spin-off company from Virginia Tech, safely drove its semi-autonomous vehicle across the country and through Washington state without incident.

Inslee’s executive policy adviser, Charles Knutson, welcomed the vehicle. He also bought the support crew a cup of coffee and presented them with a Washington state flag to recognize their significant achievement.

“I want to congratulate Torc Robotics on their cross-country autonomous vehicle trip and welcome them to our state,” Inslee said. “Washington is already a leader in autonomous vehicle technology, and these early tests demonstrate how AVs could help save lives, improve mobility and be an important tool in our efforts to combat climate change.”

Inslee said Torc Robotics specifically chose to conduct its test in Washington because of the governor’s support of self-driving cars and his recent executive order allowing companies to test drive self-driving cars on state roads.