Improving communication on the road
Ford believes that better communication between cyclists and drivers could help reduce road accidents. To improve this communication, they worked with language experts, cyclists and industrial designers from Designworks and came up with the Emoji Jacket.
The Emoji jacket uses a mesh of LED lights on the back for communicating with drivers via signs and emojis.
A remote mounted on the handlebar is used to control what is displayed on the back of the jacket. There are six buttons on the remote: left indicator, right indicator, hazard light, smiley-face emoji, frowny-face emoji, and neutral-face emoji.
The jacket is part of Ford's Share the Road campaign - one that is designed to "improve road safety for everyone, whilst also helping to ease congestion".
Ford has no plans to make them
The Emoji jacket currently exists only as a prototype with no plans to produce it commercially. As it is at the time of writing you can't customize the display and the remote, and it does not have automatic brake light functionality. Some of us definitely want a middle-finger option for the emoji.
It'd be nice if Ford would at least get it funded on Kickstarter or Indiegogo to see if there is demand. If Ford is not willing to make them, maybe someone else should.
Over 2,000 cyclists are killed by drivers on the road in Europe every year. The Ford Emoji Jacket can reduce the risk of a cyclist becoming a part of that statistic for the novelty itself. It's also a great way to express how you feel to drivers behind you while keeping your hands on the handlebar.