Lots of companies, including automakers, have developed different approaches to eliminating distracted driving. But none of those solutions can hold a candle to Nissan’s latest idea.
Nissan Great Britain revealed its new Signal Shield concept on a Juke crossover Thursday that uses 19th century technology to combat the 21st century problem of texting and driving.
Similar to the Faraday cage invented by Michael Faraday in the 1830s, the Signal Shield is a small enclosure in the Juke’s center armrest in which you place your phone while driving. The compartment is lined with conductive materials that block all cellular, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals.
“The Nissan Signal Shield concept presents one possible solution for giving drivers the choice to remove all smartphone distractions while driving,” Alex Smith, managing director of Nissan GB, said in a statement. “This is about delivering more control at the wheel, not less. 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 solution in this very ‘connected’ world we live in.”
In theory, Nissan’s invention offers the same functionality as using one of the various distracted driving apps that are available. The key difference, however, is the amount of thought involved for the user.
Even if somebody cares enough to download an app, which not everybody does, they might forget to turn it on once they get in their car. But most people put their phone in a cupholder or compartment as soon as they get in their car, so the Signal Shield doesn’t force them to change their behavior at all.
Distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions in recent years, with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance citing it as a big reason for rising premiums. It’s such a large problem globally, in fact, the FIA launched its first road safety campaign this year, aimed specifically at the dangers of distracted driving.
Thumbnail photo via Nissan