You won’t have to wait long to try Nissan’s semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist on American streets. The automotive giant has announced that the 2018 Rogue crossover will be the first car in the US to have the feature as an option. Not surprisingly, it won’t come standard. While the Rogue starts at $24,680, you’ll need to spend about $35,000 for a Rogue SL with the Platinum Package to get that robotic assistance. In classic car maker fashion, you’ll have to spend on extras you probably don’t care for (like leather seats and large wheels) just to get the one option you do.
Again, ProPilot Assist isn’t as slick as Tesla’s Autopilot. It won’t roll out to meet you in the driveway, or change lanes just by flicking a signal stalk. It’s focused on single-lane highway driving: it’ll keep you in your lane, adapt your speed to traffic and warn you about vehicles in your blind spots. This is more about relaxing a bit on lengthy trips than having the car drive itself. You won’t get multi-lane highway driving until 2 years from now, and city support until 4 years from now.
All the same, this is important as one of the first semi-autonomous driving experiences that many American drivers will see. Tesla still caters to a relatively niche audience of upscale EV fans, but Nissan is thoroughly planted in the mainstream — the Rogue is one of the most popular cars in the US, full stop. Even if only a fraction of buyers spring for the high-end trim level, that’s a lot of drivers who can relinquish at least a little control on their highway journeys.