In a bid to stop people killing cyclists – through terrible accidents or mere frustration – Ford has designed a snazzy jacket capable of displaying emoji as well as road signals.
The prototype Emoji Jacket was commissioned to show everyone how well drivers and cyclists could get along with this improved method of communication that doesn’t involve a lot of hand gestures. Rather sadistically, Ford has said that it’s a one-off that’s not available for purchase, and exists only to illustrate the harmonious road-utopia that might, in some alternate reality, exist.
The LED display on the back of the jacket is wirelessly hooked up to the remote that sits on the handlebars, allowing the cyclist to tell drivers behind them if they’re turning, warn them of a hazard, or just give them a heads up vis-Ã -vis their current mood. Ford collaborated with Designworks on the project as part of its Share the Road safety campaign.
“If street signs and effective single images are good enough to tell a driver to slow down, to stop, they should certainly also be good enough to allow a driver to understand the desires and needs of cyclists who are very vulnerable on the road,” says linguist Neil Cohn in the video. “Emoji could certainly revolutionise the way that road-users communicate.”
Until then, keep gesticulating wildly on your bike to make sure drivers can see you. [Engadget]
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.