Nissan builds Cell Phone Signal Blocker into the new Juke

Automologist MAC reports on Nissan’s latest safety effort, but how effective will it be?  

Nissan in the UK has announced that it will be fitting a signal-blocking box into its new Juke vehicles, in a bid to stop the owners of these vehicles from being distracted by incoming calls, text messages or social media notifications whilst in motion.

The use of mobile communication devices (aka smart phones) whilst behind the wheel is a growing concern globally, and of particular concern to the global auto-industry that is on a head-long race to adorn their newest offerings with ever increasing levels of connectivity. The ever increasing number of pushed messages that we all receive, which tempt us all to reach for our device as we drive, is reaching epidemic proportions; following a number of high profile cases – which would suggest that most drivers do it – the UK Police has doubled the penalties should you be caught using your smart phone as you drive.

The blocker is a small box which sits in your armrest, that is, in effect, a Faraday cage, and thus is essentially a wire mesh shield that stops electromagnetic fields from passing through. Therefore, all mobile signals, whether they be Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, will be blocked and your phone will remain silent throughout the course of your journey.

According to Alex Smith, Nissan GB’s Managing Director, the Nissan Signal Shield is another choice for drivers to remove all smartphone distractions whilst driving and thus will deliver more control at the wheel, not less. Of course I could argue that the type of person who is remiss enough to take messages whilst behind the wheel would be the type of driver that would eschew the use of the Signal Shield; thus, the idea is probably going to be dead on arrival and the only way to stop people being distracted is to allow the machines to do the driving for us…did I really just write that?

Joking aside, there is a real problem with drivers being distracted by mobile comm’s technology in their cars, with the RAC in the UK finding that at least 31 percent of all motorists regularly use their device whilst driving. And that is despite it having been illegal since 2003. Last year, lorry driver Thomas Kroker was jailed for ten years after killing a women and her three children. Throughout the UK, 99 people were killed in accidents in which the use of mobile comm’s was a contributing factor. I think it is safe to say that we will be writing about tragic accidents of this nature for many years to come, unfortunately.

The Nissan Juke, designed in London, built in Sunderland, and one of the more popular cars in Europe right now.

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