Nissan using Victorian-era tech to solve a modern day problem
Nissan has developed a piece of technology that’s almost 200 years old to reduce smartphone distractions while driving.
Smartphones today are a hotbed of activity, with calls, text messages and social media notifications all commonly being received throughout the day. It’s a reality that can be a huge distraction while driving – especially if you’re waiting for an important message or phone call.
To combat this, Nissan has taken a device first developed in Victorian times and built it into the armrest of its Juke crossover.
The Signal Shield, as it’s known, works in the same way as the Faraday cage – invented in the 1830s – and blocks electromagnetic fields from reaching whatever’s inside it.
Once the Signal Shield’s lid is closed, all mobile, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals are prevented from reaching the smartphone inside.
The whole idea might sound unnecessary, but research by IAM Roadsmart shows that individuals who use a mobile phone whilst driving are four times more likely to be in a crash than those that don’t. And even though hefty fines await people who are caught using their phones while driving, there are still many drivers who continue to do it.
Nissan Motor GB managing director Alex Smith 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.”
Smith added that while many drivers are immune to the distraction of their smartphones, there are still those who can’t ignore the notification sounds, and the Signal Shield “provides a simple solution in this very connected world we live in.”
It’s certainly a better option than simply switching your phone off, and drivers can still listen to music stored on their phones by connecting it to the car’s entertainment system via the USB or auxiliary ports.
This short video from Nissan UK contains more info on the Signal Shield concept:
What do you think? Is the Signal Shield a necessary addition that should be present in all cars or a superfluous piece of equipment?