Nissan’s British arm has adapted a 19th century invention to 21st century times, creating an armrest-mounted phone holder that blocks the device’s signal to reduce driver distraction.
Called the ‘Nissan Signal Shield’ concept, the holder is lined with a Faraday cage – an invention dating back to the 1830s.
The contraption has been installed into the armrest of a Nissan Juke, which is built in the UK, and once a mobile device is placed in the compartment all of the phone’s incoming and outgoing cellular, bluetooth and WiFi connections are blocked – any incoming electromagnetic signals, such as cellular or Bluetooth data, are distributed across the cage’s external conducting material and therefore prevented from reaching the device.
Nissan’s Signal Shield concept is in response to the growing amount of road users being distracted by their phones while driving, with a new report by the UK’s RAC finding that an alarming 31 per cent of drivers admit to using their mobile devices when they should be focusing on the road ahead.
Additionally, Nissan’s own research found that one in five drivers admitted to texting behind the wheel.
The Japanese company says its device is designed to give drivers the choice to eliminate the distractions caused by the countless text messages, social media alerts and app notifications that are pushed to smartphones every day.
Drivers are still able to connect to the vehicle’s entertainment system via USB or AUX ports if they want to listen to music or podcasts stored on their smartphone, though wireless connections will continue to be blocked.