Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Ford Emoji Jacket for cyclists to better communicate with car drivers

With the subsequent increase in bicycle traffic in major cities, accidents have been increasing dramatically. And these are often due to a lack of understanding between cyclists and car drivers, who sometimes find it difficult to share the road.

The field of ‘technical’ clothing for alternative means of transport (like scooter, bicycle, skateboards, etc.) is not new. But it is very unusual to see a car maker seriously dealing with it. Ford seems to be interested in this area that is not its specialty. As part of its “Share The Road” campaign for more safety, Ford has presented an Emoji Jacket that is intended to help with wordless communication.

Ford's Emoji Jacket Controller.
Ford’s Emoji Jacket Controller.

Sometimes cyclists do not even bother to indicate their intention, and in these cases, we have “incidents.” Ford’s smart jacket comes to solve the problem of any cyclist who does not have a high level of familiarity and ease of expression, especially when he needs to change direction.

A simple universally understandable language is necessary for fast communication on the road. This is exactly what Ford offers with the “Emoji Jacket” and a small controller. A wireless remote control mounted on the steering wheel (handlebar) offers six buttons in this design: a turn signal for the right and left side, a warning sign and three emojis with a laughing, sad and neutral expression. According to the carmaker, these emojis will help the cyclist to show what they think of the driving style of the person behind them. Once you select any symbol, it will appear on the back of the jacket.


The idea for communication via a sign on the back is a good thing. However, there are currently no plans to add the Emoji Jacket to production, but Ford recalls that a virtual reality system has already been developed that allows for the exchange of “views” between the driver and the cyclist with “WheelSwap”.