In the UK, drivers using their phones has become something of an epidemic in recent years. The UK Government has taken somewhat weak action by enforcing stricter fines of up to £200 and six penalty points if you’re caught using your phone at the wheel.
A Faraday Cage For Your Car
Nissan, think there is another way, a faraday cage for your car. Essentially it’s a simple concept comprising of a centre console that blocks all incoming signals to your phone. Dubbed as the ‘Signal Shield’ concept, it is a concept only currently but could well be included in production models at some point.
The Signal Shield concept is switchable, as in you can close the lid and your phone is cut off from the outside world, open the lid and it works as normal, having this option makes it a bit pointless really.
The main reason for this viewpoint is that the squidgy bit (aka me & you) behind the wheel has to be trusted to close their phone off and not be tempted to check it while driving, you know, as in so the driver remains undistracted and doesn’t bump into anything.
Would Drivers Actually Use It?
Whilst I admire the concept and what Nissan is trying to do here, possibly the time and PR column inches could be better spent coming with an in-car system that integrates with your phone to cut off text and social media updates the moment the ignition is started, or even a two key system for when parents let their teenage offspring borrow the car that simply won’t allow them to do anything other than focus on driving.
At the end of the day, carmakers can outfit concepts like this in their cars, if the driver decides that they don’t want to use it then they won’t. Bluetooth calling is a great example of this, carmakers give you a highly advanced system enabling you to make and receive calls hands-free without touching your phone and then what do you see, a driver with one hand on the wheel, the other hand on their phone clamped to their ear.
Until UK drivers are either scared away from mobile use at the wheel by far stiffer penalties or a massive re-education of what’s right or wrong then not a whole lot is going to change.