Nissan Signal Shield blocks mobile phones

Concept aims to tackle distracted driving by jamming mobile coverage when phones are placed in central cubby

Nissan has unveiled a prototype solution to the distraction drivers face from smartphones when behind the wheel.

The Signal Shield consists of a Faraday cage – essentially a metal mesh – embedded in the central storage area of a Nissan Juke. Once a mobile phone is placed in this, it’s essentially ‘off the grid’, meaning no signals can reach the phone, triggering beeps, buzzes or trills to tempt you into reaching for your phone for fear of missing out.

Nissan happily admits drivers could achieve a similar effect by simply switching their phone off, but given that statistics indicate phone use behind the wheel is on the rise, this is a decision few would seem to be making. The RAC has previously published data showing the percentage of drivers who admitted handling their phone when driving rose from 8% in 2012 to 31% in 2016; Nissan’s own research, meanwhile, indicates 18% have sent a text from behind the wheel.

But provision has been made for those who use a mobile to stream music to the stereo: a USB socket or aux-in port can still be connected to the phone when it’s inside the Shield, which only blocks wireless signals, not wired communications. And while the Shield blocks Bluetooth signals as well as cellular networks, if a driver has connected their phone to the Juke’s Bluetooth, simply opening the central cubby will see it reconnected.

The ever-increasing focus on connectivity in modern cars means the Safety Shield is something of an outlier in terms of infotainment, but given the acknowledged dangers and stiff penalties implicit in using a phone behind the wheel carry, it’s possible ‘nofotainment’ could be the next big thing.

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2021
i20
Deals
9 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

UK road tax rules for 2021 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
8 Apr 2021

UK road tax rules for 2021 explained

New 2021 Porsche Macan nearing production
2021 Porsche Macan SUV front 3/4 static
Porsche Macan
7 Apr 2021

New 2021 Porsche Macan nearing production

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Tips and advice
28 Dec 2020

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks