Nissan is using old school technology to try to stop distracted driving.
On Monday, the company announced Signal Shield, an armrest outfitted as a Faraday Cage. Created in 1838, Faraday Cages block electric fields. If your phone is inside one, it can’t connect to cellular signals, data, WiFi or Bluetooth.
Nissan’s Signal Shield prototype fits between the two front seats of the Nissan Juke and is designed to keep your phone silent while you drive. With the lid closed, your phone won’t receive texts, calls or notifications that might distract you. But when you open it, your phone will work like normal.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eight people are killed and over 1,000 are injured each day in the U.S. in accidents involving distracted drivers. And mobile devices are a major distraction in vehicles.
Experts have also said mobile phones are partly to blame for the rise in pedestrian fatalities — in 2016, 6,000 pedestrians were killed.
Nissan told CNNTech its concept is better than just turning off your phone, because you can still listen to music through a plugged in USB or auxiliary connection while your phone is in the compartment. (Though you’d be able to do that on airplane mode, too.)
Further, drivers can make phone calls via Bluetooth without touching their phones if they just open the compartment, Dominic Vizor, a spokesman for Nissan, said.
While the Faraday Cage armrest is still a prototype, it’s already possible to get the tech in your car. Faraday Bags are frequently used by privacy-conscious people to prevent hackers from accessing their devices. They’re easy to buy online and you can take them anywhere.