Auto Tech

Nissan goes (very) old school to curb distracted driving

You might not want to use this concept if you're waiting for an important call, though.

Nissan

Sometimes, we all need to unplug. But Nissan's "new" distraction-mitigating cabin tech might be taking things a bit too far.

The Japanese automaker's latest concept is called Signal Shield, and it relies on a 180-year-old creation -- the Faraday cage. A Faraday cage uses conductive material to block electromagnetic fields. Installed in a Nissan Juke's center console, it's capable of blocking all communications to the phone, whether it's Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or regular ol' phone signals.

Thanks to its conductive properties, a Faraday cage blocks electromagnetic signals, preventing them from leaving or entering the cage.

Nissan

Obviously, the goal is to prevent distracted driving. And it succeeds to that end, because a phone that can't do anything isn't going to distract a driver. Owners will still be able to use the phone through the infotainment system, thanks to a wired connection inside the center console.

If you're waiting for an important phone call, Signal Shield probably isn't the best idea. Thankfully, if you need to make a quick phone call from the road, all it takes is opening the center console to restore full phone functionality.

Nissan Signal Shield is just a concept for now, but it's interesting nevertheless. For years, automakers have integrated technologies that make it easier to use a phone without actually wielding the device. In the event you need a more heavy-handed approach to reducing distraction, Signal Shield is one way to do it.

Or you could just head over to Amazon and buy a Faraday cage for less than $10 and keep it in your glovebox. That's always an option, too, even though it's far less elegant.