A group of employees from Ford Cycling enthusiasts created a unique garment that allows cyclists to more easily orient themselves and more clearly signal their presence and intentions to other vehicles, while connected to an app.
This prototype of smart jacket It features sleeves that light up to signal when riders plan to turn left or right. Wirelessly connected to a Smartphone, the navigation app vibrates the appropriate sleeve, so the user knows where to go using routes that avoid the busiest roads and junctions.
And riders don't need to take their eyes off the road or their hands off the handlebars to check their Smartphone screen. Acoustic and haptic interfaces allow users to take calls, receive messages and repeat the navigation prompt. The jacket also integrates a flashing brake light.
"This concept helps us to better understand how the different actors that are part of the urban mobility ecosystem - cyclists, cars and pedestrians - can better coexist through the application of smart technologies and how we can apply what we have learned to future ideas", said Tom thompson, project manager of the Ford Smart Mobility team.
Other advanced features in development would allow users to access phone calls and messages through hand gestures and voice commands. Wearing bone conduction headphones avoids blocking sounds from pedestrians and other road users, as traditional headphones might do, by sending sound to the inner ear through vibrations to the jaw.
The smart jacket prototype, developed with specialists in urban cycling clothing Lumo and the mobility software experts Volume, is part of the campaign "Share the road" Ford, which aims to foster greater harmony and empathy between drivers and cyclists.
For now, the smart jacket remains a prototype. However, Ford is in the process of obtaining the patent that could be developed in the future or licensed to other companies, along with the application and additional technical knowledge.