Nissan is tackling the problem of distracted driving by removing the temptation to reach for the phone by placing it in a shielded compartment.
Nissan has adopted a technology that’s almost 200 years old to create a concept for reducing smartphone distraction at the wheel. The Nissan Signal Shield is a prototype compartment within the armrest of a Nissan Juke that is lined with a Faraday cage, an invention dating back to the 1830s.
When a mobile device is placed in the compartment and the lid closed, the Nissan Signal Shield creates a “silent zone,” blocking all of the phone’s incoming and outgoing cellular, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections. The concept is designed to give drivers a choice about whether to eliminate the distractions caused by the millions of text messages, social media notifications and app alerts that are pushed to smartphones each day.
Despite widespread publicity about the dangers of using phones behind the wheel, there remains a significant number of users who are tempted by incoming notifications to take their attention away from the road. Nissan believes that by placing the phone within the compartment, drivers can take away that temptation.
If drivers want to listen to music or podcasts stored on their smartphone, they can still connect to the car’s entertainment system via the USB or auxiliary ports. The device will maintain wired connectivity even when in the Signal Shield compartment.
Commenting on the introduction of the compartment, Alex Smith, managing director of Nissan Motor GB said, “Mobile phone use at the wheel is a growing concern across the automotive industry, and indeed society, particularly with the high number of “pushed” communications, such as texts, social media notifications and app alerts that tempt drivers to reach for their devices. The Nissan Signal Shield concept presents one possible way to give drivers the choice to remove all smartphone distractions while driving. Some drivers are immune to the activity of their smartphone, but for those who struggle to ignore the beeps and pings, this concept provides a simple answer to ignoring the phone.”