Nissan looking to prevent distracted driving with new old technology
Posted on May 11, 2017
Automakers are spending a lot of time and money on technologies to help us stay safe on the road and avoid problems such as distracted driving. Many of these technologies are complicated and expensive such as eye tracking and lane departure warnings. Nissan is going a different way.
As well as offering the usual lane departure warning tech, they are also going old school done in a new way.
The Nissan Signal Shield is their answer to distracted driving. In essence, it’s a Faraday cage for your car that blocks incoming phone signals. This will obviously avoid distracted driving caused by phone use.
The Nissan Signal Shield is a specially designed centre console in which you place your phone. The steel lined box will block all signals in and out, stopping the phone communicating with the cell network. This will obviously stop incoming calls, texts, social media alerts, emails and all those distractions that cause so much trouble on our roads.
Invented by Michael Faraday in 1836, the Faraday cage acts as a barrier for electromagnetic fields. First introduced as part of Faraday’s experiments with electricity and electromagnetism, it has been adopted in all sorts of situations since.
The mobile phone network uses electromagnetic fields to stay connected so by blocking these fields, the phone is rendered temporarily inoperable. Remove the phone from the console and it is immediately working again. Bluetooth works on the same principle only at lower power so the Nissan Signal Shield blocks those too.
The advantage of the Nissan Signal Shield is that it renders the phone temporarily inoperable. Need to make a call? Need to call emergency services? Pull over somewhere safe and just take the phone out of the console. It will pick up the cell network as normal and you’ll be able to make your call.
The only downside is that it requires the driver to actually put their phone into the console for this to work. As distracted driving is often about not being able to leave the phone alone when you really should, one wonders whether those same people would have the willpower to shut their phone away.
The Nissan Signal Shield is currently only a concept being considered for fitment to the Nissan Juke. Only time and testing will tell if it solves the problem or not.