A state task force wants self-driving cars on the road in Minnesota. Legislators aren’t so sure

Autonomous vehicles have largely been absent from Minnesota roads, even as fleets of driverless cars already patrol the streets in states like Arizona and California.

But after months of research by a state task force, Minnesota might finally take cautious steps toward fostering the industry. The panel has drafted bills that would allow driverless cars on private roads, and maybe public ones, too, as long as they pass scrutiny from the Department of Transportation.

The potential economic upsides of such technology are well documented. Yet early in the 2019 legislative session, key lawmakers aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to usher in a Silicon Valley-type vision of autonomous Ubers and hands-free commutes.