Nissan helps you escape the smartphone distraction in a geeky way

Nissan Signal Shield

Nissan has announced it's developed a concept which uses a nineteenth century technology to solve the thoroughly modern problem of drivers using smartphones behind the wheel.

The beauty of the design is its simplicity.

Created in the 1830s, the Faraday cage is an enclosure made of a conductive material, such as wire mesh, which blocks electromagnetic fields. Once placed inside with the lid closed, all mobile, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals are blocked from reaching the smartphone.

The concept is created to give drivers a choice about whether to eliminate the distractions caused by text messages, social media notifications and app alerts.

A growing problem, the number of drivers admitting to handling their phone in the vehicle has increased from 8% in 2014 to 31% in 2016, according to the RAC. Sure, you could always rely on your own willpower or desire not to die and/or kill someone as motivation to quit looking at your phone while driving.

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. But Nissan's "new" distraction-mitigating cabin tech might be taking things a bit too far.

Nissan Signal Shield is just a concept for now, but it's interesting nevertheless. It means a digital detox and a drive that's free of incoming distractions.

If drivers want to listen to music stored in their smartphone, the Signal Shield compartment comes with USB and Aux ports which allows music to be streamed but which still blocks messaging services. In this case, just place your phone in Nissan's compartment and it will basically be like the device is in airplane mode.

The rationale behind the Signal Shield is supported by data from the RAC, which says the number of drivers admitting to handling their phones while driving has risen from 8 per cent in 2014 to 31 per cent a year ago.

Nissan Nissan Motor GB managing director Alex Smith, however, is rather upbeat about the innovation. No matter how "good" you think you are at using your cell phone while driving, you're playing with fire.

The idea Nissan has for some of its upcoming rides is to integrate a Faraday cage directly into the armrest. This is about delivering more control at the wheel, not less.

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