Cyclists in cities could become a little safer thanks to a new jacket designed to keep them from looking at their smartphones.
Employees at car company Ford have designed the smart jacket, which links to a mobile phone, to help users navigate around and show their intentions to other road users.
The sleeves of the jacket light up to show when the wearer plans to turn right or left, and lights on the back flash when they are braking.
The jacket’s navigation app vibrates the appropriate sleeve to tell users which way to turn, using routes that avoid busy roads and junctions.
It also pairs with bone-conducting headphones to enable riders to take calls, receive messages and repeat navigation guidance.
“At Ford, we want to help people – and goods – move more safely, confidently and freely around our cities,” said Tom Thompson, project lead for the Ford Smart Mobility team.
“The smart jacket concept helps us to better understand how the different players that are a part of the urban mobility ecosystem – cyclists, cars, and pedestrians – can better co-exist through the application of smart technologies and how we can apply those learnings to future ideas.”