Ford motor company have announced the release of a new jacket that cyclists can wear to express their emotions to cars and other bike users.
The jacket has flashing lights signalling left or right, a hazard sign and three types of emoji to let others know what the person is thinking. Cyclists would use a wireless remote attached to the bike’s handlebars to change the signs.
The jacket is part of Ford’s new ‘Share the Road’ campaign; seeking to “foster harmony between road users”.
Emmanuel Lubrani, from Ford’s ‘Share the Road’, commented: “We are now living, and driving, in a world where communication is crucial. But all too often between drivers and cyclists this just comes down to the beeping of a horn or a rude gesture.
“Cyclists usually have to take a hand off the handlebars to communicate. The Emoji Jacket uses a universally understood means of communication to show one way in which tensions could be eased – and we all learn to ‘Share the Road’.”
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Over the past 20 years, emojis have become a key way for people to communicate due to the advent of emerging technologies and increased phone useage.
Wired described it as “the first language born of the digital world”, and reports suggest that people feel more comfortable expressing emotions through emoji rather than phone calls.
Dr Neil Cohn, assistant professor Department of Communication and Cognition at Tilburg University, The Netherlands, said: “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.
“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.”
Although not yet in production, the jacket has been designed to help prevent accidents and improve road safety.