Pay-as-you-drive auto insurance (PAYD) is among the most promising innovations for resolving the transportation problems that plague the Northwest. It also makes sense actuarially. But although consumer interest in PAYD is high, insurance companies-who are understandably a little risk-averse-have been slow to give it a try.

On that front, here’s a promising step: GMAC and OnStar-a satellite navigation system installed in many GM cars-have teamed up to offer mileage-based insurance discounts to OnStar subscribers. Participants may save from 5 to 40 percent annually on insurance, depending on the miles they drive. The program is currently are available in four states: Arizona, Indiana, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. But if it’s successful, it will expand to more. For more information, go here.

In addition, Maryland and Connecticut-which sees PAYD as a promising measure for reducing greenhouse gas emissions-are inching toward the kind of incentives that Oregon passed last year.