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Emoji jacket

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.

Emoji jacket indicating that she's happy while cycling

Here, the emoji jacket indicates to drivers that the cyclist is happy on their travels

Image credit: Ford

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.”

Emoji jacket indicating cyclist is worried during her travels

The jacket here is telling other road users that the cyclist is feeling neutral in their travels

Image credit: Ford

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”.

Cyclist indicating a right-hand turn

The arrow on the back of the jacket tells other road users that the cyclist intends to make a right turn ahead

Image credit: Ford

“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.”

Cycling warning driver of a hazard up ahead

This symbol on the back of the jacket indicates to drivers that there is a hazard up ahead

Image credit: Ford

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