Ford Makes Possibly the Ugliest Ugly Christmas Sweater
Social distancing. It’s important, it saves lives, and everybody should be doing it. Ford Motor Company wants to remind folks that practicing proper distancing is important for cyclists and scooter riders, too. The result: maybe the ugliest ugly Christmas sweater you ever will see.
A Far Better Sight: The new Ford Ranger Tremor, coming in 2021
The Safe Distance Christmas Jumper — mind you, this creation comes from the United Kingdom where they’re jumpers, not sweatshirts — is a sight to behold. It features the big-eyed, rictus-grinning face of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Attached to its head: two giant, fluffy antlers that extend up over the shoulders of the sweatshirt. On the back of the shirt, a nice little fluffy tail poof.
But the centerpiece, of course, is the big, red nose that sticks out from the jumper. This nose hides a small projector, working with projectors hidden behind the antlers and within the tail poof to light the ground with the shape of a Christmas tree that envelops the wearer.
So what makes this socially distant beyond the fact that nobody will want to get within 10 feet of you when you’re wearing one of these things? The Christmas tree illumination creates a safe zone around the wearer, showing how much room to give a cyclist or e-scooter rider when passing.
It’s worth noting that the zone marked out by the Safe Distance Christmas Jumper only covers 5 feet, so it’s a bit short of ideal for social distancing. Calling it a bit short of ideal is more than you can say for the unfortunate look of this sweatshirt as a whole.
Safe Distance Christmas Jumper part of Share the Road initiative
This ugly Christmas sweater is part of the Ford Share the Road campaign. The idea for the Safe Distance Christmas Jumper stems from a statistic showing that about 90 percent of cyclists are “close passed” at least once a week. Five feet is the ideal passing distance at low speeds, hence the dimensions of the Christmas tree projection.
“In 2020, we may have become good at keeping a safe distance in shops or on the pavements but we’re not always so good at it on the roads,” said Emmanuel Lubrani, Ford of Europe’s head of Share the Road. “The ‘Safe Distance’ Christmas Jumper may be fun, but the message is serious; we all need to be mindful of other road-users and make sure everyone gets home for Christmas, no matter what form of transport they take.”
You may recall that Ford has dipped its toes into weird wearables for cyclists in the past with its Emoji Jacket. Ford also has suits that it uses in its Driving Skills for Life campaign to recreate the feeling of driving drunk, drugged, and hungover as well as what it feels to be elderly or pregnant behind the wheel.
Arriving Now: The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is here at last