Emoji jacket helps cyclists and drivers ‘share the road’
Image credit: Ford
US automaker company Ford has commissioned an ‘emoji jacket’ designed to enhance communication between cyclists and other road users on the go.
Every year, more than 2,000 cyclists are killed on our roads in Europe. Experts argue that better communication between cyclists and drivers could help reduce accidents that occur.
To tackle this widespread issue, the prototype jacket, created in partnership with industrial design specialists Designworks as part of Ford’s ongoing “Share the Road” campaign, allows the wearer to effectively communicate their emotions to other road users around them by using emoji icons.
The back of the jacket features a large LED panel that allows the user to display their mood – whether they are happy, neutral, or worried about travelling. Indicators and a hazard symbol can also be displayed to make other road users aware of the cyclist’s movements and possible dangers ahead.
Ford said the functions on the jacket can be controlled without the cyclist removing their hands from the handlebars. This action is fulfilled by a wireless remote which features independent buttons that are easily mounted and removed from the bike.
“Emojis have become a fundamental part of how we use language. Whether used to convey facial expressions, humour, or sarcasm, they have become integral to our ability to express ourselves and quickly,” described by Emoji expert Dr Neil Cohn from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, in relation to the speed of communication of emojis. “This jacket created in partnership with Ford ‘Share the Road’ allows riders to express their feelings and creates an important emotional link between them and other road users.”
The Share the Road campaign promotes the message that enabling more people to cycle safely, especially during short journeys, benefits everyone on the road. The campaign was also designed to also help ease congestion. Ford states that: “by fostering harmony between road users, raising awareness, and increasing conversations between them, our roads can become a better and more accepting environment for all”.
“As someone who frequently travels on both two wheels and four wheels, I have experienced first‑hand many of the frustrations – and dangers – that drivers and cyclists encounter on our roads today,” stated Steven Armstrong, president and CEO of Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The safe integration of increasingly diverse modes of transportation is key to how we make our cities safer and easier for everyone to get about in, now and in the future.”
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