Phone shield helps drivers avoid smartphone distractions

Phone shield helps drivers avoid smartphone distractions

Nissan is turning to Victorian-era (19th century) technology in an effort to reduce smartphone distractions while driving.

The Nissan Signal Shield is a prototype compartment that sits in the armrest of a Nissan Juke. It is lined with a Faraday cage, an enclosure made of a conductive material which blocks electromagnetic fields.

When an electronic device like a smartphone is placed inside, any incoming electromagnetic signals -- such as cellular or Bluetooth data -- are prevented from reaching the device.

It's thought this simple solution could help drivers eliminate the distractions caused by the many text messages, social media notifications and app alerts that are pushed to smartphones throughout the day.

Last year, the RAC's Report on Motoring found that the number of drivers who admitted using a handheld mobile phone had increased from 8% in 2014 to 31% in 2016. There was also a rise in drivers sending texts and emails or posting on social media, with the figure increasing from 7% to 19%.

With the Nissan Signal Shield, 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 Nissan Signal Shield compartment, the car maker explained.

To restore the phone's wireless connections, drivers just need to open the armrest to reveal the compartment -- something that can be done without taking their eyes off the road or touching the phone itself -- and the phone can reconnect with the mobile network and the car's Bluetooth system.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams welcomed the concept, saying: "For those who can't avoid the temptation, this simple but pretty clever tech gives them a valuable mobile-free zone."

Would you ever consider using a phone signal shield?


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Posted 11 May 2017 by Jodie Salter

Tags: Nissan, RAC, Road, Safety, smartphone

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