Ford unveils ‘emoji jacket’ for cyclists to tell drivers their mood

6 Feb 2020

The Ford emoji jacket. Image: Ford/PA

With the aim of improving cyclist-driver relations, Ford has unveiled an ‘emoji jacket’ to help start a digital conversation.

A prototype jacket for cyclists featuring an LED panel, on which wearers can show an emoji designed to communicate their mood to other road users, has been unveiled by motoring giant Ford. The ‘emoji jacket’ has been created as a means of helping cyclists better communicate with drivers and other road users.

The jacket can display mood symbols, but also hazard warnings and indicators for when the cyclist wants to make a turn. It can be controlled via a wireless remote attached to their handlebars, which Ford said allows wearers to change what is being displayed without having to fully remove their hands from their bike.

The jacket, created with UK industrial design firm Designworks, was unveiled as part of Ford’s Share the Road campaign, which promotes safe cycling and increasing dialogue between cyclists and other road users.

‘An important emotional link’

The scheme also encourages more people to use cycling for short journeys as a means to protect the environment. Emoji and language expert Dr Neil Cohn said the rise of emojis as a modern language made it ideal for use in such a way.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Back in 2018, as part of the same campaign, Ford revealed a virtual reality experience that allowed motorists and cyclists to see how inconsiderate driving and riding could lead to potentially fatal accidents.

– PA Media, with additional reporting by Colm Gorey