Nissan Tests 'Signal Shield' Armrest Faraday Cage to Combat Distracted Driving
Nissan uses 19th Century tech to solve a 21st Century problem.
We've all seen it. Inattentive drivers trying to balance piloting a two-ton hunk of metal down a busy street with keeping up to date with WhatsApp convos, putting themselves, their passengers, and everybody in close vicinity in danger. Countless local news stories and statistics have told us just how hazardous and ill-advised driving distracted can be, so we're not gonna beat a dead horse here. We can all agree that texting and driving is very, very bad, right? Good.
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. They call it the 'Signal Shield,' and it's based on a nearly 200-year-old invention, the Faraday cage. Integrated into the Juke's armrest, think of it as a mini-bomb shelter for your phone. It's a small, closed compartment that cuts off any and all wireless communications to and from anything inside. Think of it as a physical implementation of airplane mode.
That should cut off those pesky incoming notifications from WhatsApp, SnapChat, WeChat, or YouTalk, removing the tempting your hand. If you'd like to listen to locally-stored tunes on your phone, wired USB and auxiliary connections will still work when your phone is in the Signal Shield. Obviously, streaming from Spotify will require you to open the Shield's lid back up—an operation that thankfully can be carried out without taking your eyes off the road.
In an ideal world, features like this wouldn't be necessary, as we would all have the good sense to put away our phones every time we started a car. The reality, however, is that humans are weak-willed beings who need special phone cages to stop ourselves from putting each other in danger. That being said, if the Signal Shield prevents even one Nissan driver-induced death, it will have been time and money well spent.