The Faraday Cage: How It Can Stop Driving And Texting
19th century invention, 21st Century solution ...
POSTED BY JACQUI FROST ON 04/05/2017 @ 8:00AM
People using their smartphones while driving is a growing problem, but there's a 19th-century invention that could put a stop to it completely: it's called a Faraday Cage ...
A Faraday Cage could be the solution to using smartphones while driving!
copyright: stocking / 123rf stock photo (licensee)
The term 'driving and texting' is a general term that covers any smartphone or mobile use when in control of a vehicle. Accidents attributed to drivers using their smartphone at the wheel are growing and growing every year.
During my drive into the office this morning, I spotted half a dozen people with a handset to their ear or glancing down to check for messages, and that's just in the space of a few miles, in morning rush-hour traffic.
Points and fines just don't seem to be cutting it. Even though being caught twice could mean you losing your license (just the once for those who passed their test less than 2 years ago), I believe many people think they can get away with it because there are less Police out and about on normal roads.
"What is a Faraday Cage?"
The Faraday Cage was invented in 1836 by Michael Faraday, an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.
A Faraday cage operates because an external electrical field causes the electric charges within the cage's conducting material to be distributed such that they cancel the field's effect in the cage's interior.
And that's all the science you're going to get from me, except for this magical clip from The Sorcerer's Apprentice I've included below:
So the next question I know you're asking is "but how can that help stop car drivers using their smartphone while on the move?"
Well, car companies are now experimenting with including a small Faraday Cage in the glove box or centre console of new vehicles to block all signals to a smartphone or other mobile handset. It would certainly deter the habitual 'checkers' although it would be the drivers choice as to whether they put it in there or not during their journey.
"What about making the entire car a Faraday Cage?"
Well, that works and it doesn't work. You'll know from shows like Top Gear that you can fire lightning bolts at a car and it will protect the driver, but there are a couple of reasons it wouldn't block a phone signal.
Firstly, because there are too many windows and gaps in the metalwork of the vehicle that can let phone signals in, and secondly, the holes in the 'mesh' of the Faraday Cage would have to be really tiny to fully block the signal coming into the car from the network, so if it was put over the windows, you wouldn't be able to see out!
But technology advances and we do have heated windscreens that could potentially be tweaked to block phone signals, and drivers report that the heating elements don't block their vision in any way, so why not just add them to all the windows?
The simplest solution to ensure you don't miss calls is to use a call handling service like The Office Genie so you can turn off your smartphone when driving, safe in the knowledge that all calls you receive during the journey will be answered and you'll get an email with the details to read when you reach your destination.
So when driving and using a smartphone is 6 times more likely to cause an accident compared with drinking and driving, maybe an advanced Faraday Cage that activates when the car engine is switched on is the solution?
"Or maybe a little restraint from over confident drivers is the way to go?"
But remember, you can call The Office Genie on 01604 529170 to talk about answering your phone for you. Just please don't do it when you're driving!
Until next time ...
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