French subway spreads olfactory signal for visually disabled
Some days ago the French subway station of Rennes (France) started spreading perfumes in the air to make orientation easier for visually disabled people. “Rennes is the first city in France to spread an olfactory signal”, explains Armelle Billard, communication responsible for subway manager Keolis.
The idea is to spread two different perfumes – the first a iodine-like odour, the other a more peppery mint smell – in the two opposite directions of the same subway line. Those perfumes are meant to help people with a bad eyesight to find their way more easily.
The two odours are diffused along the platforms, in the elevators all the way up the station. The perfumes are an extra help for visually disabled because there already are sound signals for them.
A similar system is being tested, aboveground this time, on the four lines of the tramway in Montpellier (France), according to the federation of the blinds in France.
The subway of Rennes is operational since 2002. In 2017 it transported more than 33 million passengers, a growth of 2,1% compared to 2015.