Nissan wants to fight distracted driving with a signal-blocking box for phones

nissan signal shield concept
We all know that using our phones while driving is dangerous, but unfortunately there are plenty of people who ignore those warnings. Nissan, however, is trying to help people deal with the temptation that arises when their phone starts buzzing while they’re driving.

How? It has built a device called the Nissan Signal Shield, which is basically just a box for your phone that blocks electromagnetic signals — including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular signals. In other words, simply put your phone in the little box, and you won’t get any calls, texts, emails, or other communication during the drive.

“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,” said Alex Smith, managing director of Nissan Motor Great Britain.

The Signal Shield is currently only a prototype, but it’s installed in a Nissan Juke and could eventually become standard in Nissan’s range of cars. Interestingly enough, it’s not new technology. It was actually developed by Michael Faraday as the Faraday cage back in 1836. Of course, at the time it wasn’t developed to block cell phone signals, but rather other forms of electromagnetic fields.

While Nissan’s intentions are admirable, it’s hard to ignore the issues that this device raises. Strip away all the fancy apps and software, and your cell phone is still a device you may need in case of an emergency. Even if you don’t need to reach out to others in case of an emergency, there’s always the possibility that someone else may need to get in contact with you.

Technology is also improving to the point where there are better ways for managing our communications while driving and keeping our eyes on the road, including software like CarPlay, Android Auto, or other voice-controlled systems. Last but not least, instead of having to use a fancy electromagnetic-blocking box, you could just turn your phone off.

Whether this is a good idea or not, it’s nice to see companies making more of an effort to curb distracted driving. We just hope the likes of Nissan can come up with better ways of keeping our eyes on the road.

Check out the video below for more info on the Nissan Signal Shield.

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