Ford is showing off a cool invention that might help cyclists navigate around a city and help to show drivers around them when they are turning. The jacket was developed by a group of employees at Ford who like to cycle. The smart jacket concept has sleeves that light up to show when the wearer plans to turn right or left.
A smartphone is connected to the jacket wirelessly and the app the jacket works with is bike-friendly and vibrates the appropriate sleeve, so riders know which way to turn when they are riding. The routes the app generates avoid busy roads and junctions and eliminates the need for the rider to take eyes off the road to look at an app.
The jacket gives the rider both audible and haptic feedback and enables the rider to take calls, receive messages, and repeat navigation guidance is needed. A flashing brake light is also integrated into the jacket.
The group of cycling employees at Ford are currently testing the jacket on their daily commute to the Ford Smart Mobility innovation office in London. That location is tasked with researching last mile challenges for transportation. That invoices not only commuting for workers but the delivery of goods and services in dense and congested urban environments.
This smart jacket concept is part of the Ford “Share The road” campaign meant to foster harmony between drivers and cyclists. The jacket was developed in cooperation with cycling clothing specialist LUMO and software firm Tome. The concept uses bone conduction microphones to allow riders to hear without blocking sounds around them. Ford is working on a patent for the jacket and might license the design in the future.