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Last week, Nissan’s European division proudly announced that it had developed a new feature for use in the Juke that effectively eliminates all cellular signals. In the release, the company praised its UK team for coming up with a 21st century application that uses Victorian-era technology, saying “the beauty of the design is its simplicity.”
Obviously, Nissan is making a play to convince news outlets to cover the prototype and highlight the company’s clever engineering and commitment to safety. While we will happily take the baitÂ and comment on the device, we would be negligent in our duties to consider the itemÂ as anything other than an complete waste of resources. TheÂ Signal Shield is as useful to motorists as a pair of glovesÂ would be to a person without arms.Â
Literally a Faraday cage, an invention dating back to the early 1800s, Nissan’sÂ Signal Shield allows drivers to place their cell phone intoÂ a center console that eliminates all Bluetooth and Wi-Fi communications when closed. The brand believes its invention will save lives, citing statistics from Britain’s RAC Telematics that show a significant increase of in-car smartphone usage between 2014 and 2016.
â€œOur research shows that handheld phone use by drivers has reached epidemic proportions,” RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said. “As mobile phone technology has advanced significantly many people have become addicted to them. However, the use of a handheld phone when driving represents both a physical and mental distraction and it has been illegal since 2003.”
â€œThe Nissan Signal Shield is a good example of a technology that can help drivers be phone smart. For those who canâ€™t avoid the temptation, this simple but pretty clever tech gives them a valuable mobile-free zone.”
This would make theÂ Signal Shield an invaluable safety feature if we lived in a world where phones could not be shut off. In case you’ve never owned any electronic device in history, the vast majority feature a button or switch that allows you to make them temporarily inoperable. Don’t worry, they can be reactivated again â€” as if by magic â€”Â using the same process.
Another downside is that the shield is only helpful if a driver voluntarily decides to place their smartphone into the specially designed armrest. Of course, it does offerÂ drivers the ability listen to the musicÂ stored on their smartphone via USB or auxiliary port. However, in order to change tracks when sourcing from AUX, operators would be required to remove their device from the boxÂ â€” risking a sudden influx of distracting text messages as the phone regains cellular service.
While we’d like to credit Nissan for making the effort here, we just can’t.Â You can build your own miniature EMF shielding bagÂ for next to nothing, or purchase one online for about ten bucks. But it’s still not an effective deterrent until you place your phone inside and toss the bag into the trunk. Meanwhile, Nissan’s solution has the object resting less than a foot away from your arm at all times.Â The entire concept is on par with someone securing a handgun under a couch and relying on their children’s good intentions not to play with it. Phone addicted drivers aren’t going to be defeated by a wallet-sized Faraday cage that’s less effective than simply turning the deviceÂ off or placing it in airplane mode.
via The Truth About Cars May 10, 2017 at 07:21AM