Mobile phone distraction an increasing problem
The Nissan Signal Shield is a pre-production, safety-focussed, concept that prevents your mobile phone being a dangerous distraction - and interrupting your fun behind the wheel. The manufacturer recognises that a phone is comparable to a child. It is loud. It demands attention. It dominates your life if permitted.
It is for these reasons motorists increasingly reach for their phones while driving. The RAC said that thirty-one percent risked lives and broke the law in such a manner, in 2016. In 2014, in contrast, only eight percent fell foul. Nissan's own research found that eighteen percent of motorists have sent a text whilst driving.
How Signal Shield works
The Signal Shield is the potential solution. It is a “digital detox”, the manufacturer argued. A Nissan Juke – a compact crossover class vehicle - is the platform for the prototype. It is built into the armrest storage compartment between its front seats.
The Shield incorporates a Faraday Cage which is a metal structure built from a conductor such as wire mesh. Its purpose is to block the electromagnetic fields necessary for your mobile phone to communicate with networks, and other devices. The concept was discovered by English scientist Michael Faraday, back in the 1830s.
Consider the benefits. The phone cannot connect to its service provider to receive text messages. You can, therefore, cruise the streets without being pestered by notifications that are hard to ignore. It minimises the temptation to read messages which is illegal, immoral, and far increases the probability of a collision.
Bluetooth is blocked, too. This prevents the phone channelling phone calls through the car's speakers. The wi-fi is also switched off. No e-mail. No social media. No news updates. What remains is time to enjoy the relationship with your vehicle and the open road.
Channel music via wire
The Nissan Signal Shield stops your mobile transferring music to the vehicle's entertainment system wirelessly, but there is a solution. Connect via cable to the USB or AUX port, then the soundtrack to your life blasts through the stereo. Furthermore, open the storage compartment and your device communicates normally.
Take back control
Alex Smith, Nissan Motor GB Ltd Managing Director, said: "Mobile phone use at the wheel is a growing concern across the automotive industry, and indeed society. The high number of pushed communications such as texts, social media notifications, and app alerts tempt drivers to reach for their devices”, Mr Smith claimed.
“The Signal Shield concept presents one possible solution for giving drivers the choice to remove all smartphone distraction.” He concluded: “It is about delivering more control at the wheel, not less”.