Our big brothers in the UK have looked to the past in order to help counter a very modern problem, mobile phone use on the roads.
Dubbed the ‘Signal Shield’, Nissan have created an armrest locker built into their UK- made Juke. It aims to cut the phone’s signal in order to reduce the distraction to the driver.
The technology that allows for the signal to be blocked is a 1800s vintage device known as a Faraday Cage. This device is built into the armrest and is made of various metals designed to absorb and block any signals put out by the phone. Talk about recycled technology!
The result of this is that any phone function that requires cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth signals are unable to be used while in the armrest.
By having the signals jammed, the phone’s key communication functions are rendered all but useless, hopefully lowering the urge for drivers to check their phones.
The device was developed by Nissan UK in response to a fast increasing trend of motorists using their phones and electronic devices while behind the wheel.
Research conducted by Nissan UK showed that one in 5 road users in the UK admitted to sending messages while driving.
The Signal Shield is intended to give drivers the option to remove the distractions caused by the countless notifications, calls, and messages that seemingly bombard our phones these days
Alex Smith, managing director for Nissan Motor GB, expressed the reasoning behind the device.
“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,” He said.
As the Signal Shield block any signals going to and from the phone, any Juke driver wishing to use the car’s infotainment system will still be able to via a wired USB or auxiliary connection in the car’s console area.
At present, the device is largely a prototype, but Nissan will apparently be equipping their UK market Jukes with the device going forward.
If the concept is validated by Nissan, it could be adopted by many car makers in the future, helping make our roads a safer place.
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