Nissan car blocks signal to crackdown on drivers using phones

Nissan car blocks signal to crackdown on drivers using phones
Nissan car blocks signal to crackdown on drivers using phones
Author

04 May, 2017

Motorists will be urged to put their mobile phone in a vehicle compartment that blocks signals under plans to prevent unsafe distractions at the wheel.

This in turn means calls, messages and notifications will not distract the driver and encourage them to look at and use the phone.

Created in the 1830s, the Faraday cage is an enclosure made of a conductive material, such as wire mesh, which blocks electromagnetic fields.

While the Nissan Signal Shield blocks any Bluetooth or network signals from reaching the smartphone, motorists still have the ability to stream music from their device by connecting to USB or auxiliary within the compartment. It thinks that distracted driving can be prevented by making it impossible for the driver to use their smartphone when they're behind the wheel. The addictive features of tablets and smartphone devices become a problem when people are driving, as it causes them to be distracted instead of focusing on the wheel.

The mobile phone signal blocking box works on the principle of the Faraday cage - invented in 1836 by English scientist Michael Faraday, who was an inspiration to Albert Einstein. The British automotive services company RAC says that the number of drivers admitting to using their phones in the auto has jumped from just 8% in 2014 to a staggering 31% a year ago.

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It was created as a result of a growing problem with people texting, calling, Snapping and sharing dog memes while they're supposed to be concentrating - almost one in five admit to having texted while driving, and that's only the ones who own up. Wireless connection is restored by opening the armrest lid, enabling the phone to reconnect with the car's Bluetooth system.

To combat that, Nissan Great Britain announced today it's testing an idea that it hopes will put an end to phone-based distractions in the driver's seat.

Nissan said the Signal Shield is just a prototype, but the carmaker hopes it could one day offer a real solution to reduce driver distractions.

"This is about delivering more control at the wheel, not less", Alex Smith, managing director of Nissan Motor GB, said in a statement.

Is Nissan's Signal Shield a good idea? For those who can't avoid the temptation, this simple but pretty clever tech gives them a valuable mobile-free zone.


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