The Solution for Distracted Driving: Invented in 1836?

Sometimes a modern problem is best solved by looking into the past.

Distracted driving, for instance, is a major cause of accidents, injuries, and deaths on roads around the world. Automakers have attempted to address the problem by connecting our phones to our cars so we may continue to receive the constant stream of information from our screens to our brains while driving.

That’s not working very well, though. People are still using their phones while behind the wheel to text, browse Facebook, make phone calls, and more.

Nissan has a solution that uses a piece of technology invented in 1836, and it just might work.

A Faraday cage is, according to Wikipedia,

An enclosure used to block electromagnetic fields. A Faraday shield may be formed by a continuous covering of conductive material or in the case of a Faraday cage, by a mesh of such materials. Faraday cages are named after the English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836.

Earlier this week, Nissan announced its Signal Shield, which is basically a Faraday cage that sits between the front seats of the Nissan Juke. When a cell phone is inside, it can’t receive any signals and thus won’t distract or tempt the driver into looking at his or her phone.

The phone’s music could still be accessed through a USB connection and, should a driver need to make a phone call, he or she may simply lift open the compartment cover and use Bluetooth without ever needing to touch the phone.

Brilliant and simple… way to go, Nissan!

Of course, anyone with an Airplane Mode switch can accomplish the same thing as using Signal Shield, but that’s still not as easy or convenient as simply dropping the phone into a compartment and closing the lid.

According to the United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving kills eight people and injures many more each day. Signal Shield is just a prototype for now, but if it can reduce those numbers, it’s probably time automakers put one in every car they build.

To eliminate distracted driving, would you be willing to drop your phone into a built-in Faraday cage every time you drive?


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  1. That’s clever, I was wondering when someone was going to come up with a solution. As much as it would suck to lose your ability to stream music, the improvement in road safety is worth the trade off!

  2. So you can’t stream any music while it is in there? Seems a little silly. Might as well just turn your phone off. It’s free.

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