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Can 1830s technology curb distracted driving?

Industry news
London – British scientists have created a smartphone signal-blocker that stops drivers getting distracted behind the wheel. Created by Nissan, the Signal Shield uses 19th century technology to solve a 21st century motoring problem.

A secure flip-top signal-blocking compartment in the car’s armrest can store mobile phones to block out all cellular, Bluetooth and wi-fi signals.

It works on the ‘Faraday cage’ principle – developed 180 years ago by English scientist Sir Michael Faraday. The ‘cage’ is made of a conductive material, such as wire mesh, which blocks electromagnetic fields. The prototype Signal Shield has been developed and tested in the UK by Nissan GB on one of its Jukes with a view to it becoming an in-car option.

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It was praised by the RAC, whose damning report into smartphone abuses at the wheel sparked the Daily Mail’s successful campaign to persuade the Government to increase penalties for mobile phone misuse to six penalty points and a £200 (R3448) fine.

A Nissan spokesman explained: "Nissan GB has adopted a technology that’s almost 200 years old to create a concept solution for reducing smartphone distraction at the wheel."

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: "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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