Photo: Nissan

Nissan will follow the trend that it started with its 2018 Rogue by offering another mass-market model, the 2019 Nissan Altima, equipped with semi-autonomous driving technology. Consider it another example of how this stuff is trickling down from luxury cars to super ordinary ones.

The 2019 Nissan Altima (which we haven’t seen yet but will shortly at the upcoming 2018 New York International Auto Show) will give buyers the option of ticking the box for ProPilot Assist. ProPilot Assist is basically a fancy, cruise control system. It centers cars in their lanes, navigates stop-and-go traffic, sets a distance to the car in front and keeps a set speed. It does not mean full autonomy and you do need to keep your hands on the steering wheel.

The Altima will make the third Nissan model to be available with ProPilot Assist, with the other two models being the Leaf and the Rogue. News of the Rogue getting ProPilot was especially big, since most other semi-autonomous features are found only on more expensive cars like Volvos, Teslas and Mercedes-Benzes. Cars that are out of reach for most people.

By putting semi-autonomous tech in cars that more people can afford, Nissan is also increasing levels of public exposure and access to the tech. It’s not just a toy for the wealthy, it can have legitimate safety advantages, and should be used and enjoyed by all.