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Nissan revisits 180-year-old tech to tackle smartphone distraction

Nissan is trialling Victorian-era technology to reduce smartphone distraction at the wheel.


The Signal Shield is a prototype compartment lined with a Faraday cage.

Built into the armrest of the Juke crossover, the Nissan Signal Shield is a prototype compartment lined with a Faraday cage, an invention dating back to the 1830s.

Once a mobile device is placed in the compartment and the lid closed, the Nissan Signal Shield creates a ‘silent zone’, blocking all the phone’s incoming and outgoing cellular, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections. However, drivers can still listen to their own music, with wired connections through USB or auxiliary ports still working.

The concept is intended to provide drivers with a choice about eliminating smartphone distractions.

According to the 2016 annual report on motoring by the RAC, the number of drivers who illegally used mobile phones rose to 31% in 2016 from 8% in 2014.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams greeted the research, saying: “The Nissan Signal Shield is a good example of a technology that can help drivers be phone smart. For those who can’t avoid the temptation, this simple but pretty clever tech gives them a valuable mobile-free zone.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.