A groundbreaking car appliance has the potential to eliminate in-car distractions such as calls, messages and mobile notifications.
The prototype compartment, known as Signal Shield, has been developed by Japanese manufacturer Nissan and is said to block mobile phone signals.
The RAC has welcomed the innovation, hailing the timely arrival of a “valuable mobile-free zone” for easily-distracted motorists.
The device, a box, is built into the arm rest of Nissan’s Juke crossover vehicle.
Based on the same scientific laws as the 19th century Faraday cage, it uses material such as a mesh wire to guard its contents from electromagnetic fields.
As such, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile signals cannot penetrate the box once closed.
Since March 1 this year, illegal in-car phone use has been met with harsher penalties.
Offending drivers now face fines of £200 and six points on their licence, after it was discovered that the practices are commonplace on our roads.
In 2015, the proportion of drivers who admitted to using a hand-held device for calls behind the wheel rose to almost a third (31%), an RAC survey of more than 1,700 UK motorists showed.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams says the problem has reached “epidemic proportions”.
“As mobile phone technology has advanced significantly, many people have become addicted to them. However, the use of a hand-held phone when driving represents both a physical and mental distraction and it has been illegal since 2003,” he added.
“The Nissan Signal Shield is a good example of a technology that can help drivers be phone smart. For those who can’t avoid the temptation, this simple but pretty clever tech gives them a valuable mobile-free zone.”