Ford attempts to bridge the driver/cyclist gap, with its Emoji Jacket
It's no secret that motorists sometimes just don't "get" what cyclists are thinking. Ford Europe has envisioned at least part of a solution, in the form of its one-off Emoji Jacket.
Created as part of the automaker's Share the Road campaign, the jacket incorporates an LED mesh across its back, that is wirelessly controlled by a handlebar-mounted remote. Utilizing push-buttons on that remote, riders can choose to display any of six LED symbols: left or right turn-indicator arrows, a hazard signal for when they're stopping, and smiley-face, frowny-face or neutral-face emojis.
"If street signs and effective single images are good enough to tell a driver to slow down, to stop, then they should also certainly be good enough to allow a driver to understand the desires and needs of cyclists, who are very vulnerable on the road," says Dr. Neil Cohn, a linguist with Tilburg University in The Netherlands, who helped design the jacket.
Ford currently has no plans to produce the garment commercially. If you like the idea of a cycling jacket that at least has built-in LED turn indicators, though, then you might want to check out the Lumenus or the Tuibo.