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The Scent of Roses Can Help Lower the Number of Car Accidents

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When you think of roses, you might think of Valentine’s Day, your wedding day, or a favorite botanical garden you like to visit during spring. Roses aren’t just pleasant to smell, however. The latest research indicates that the scent of roses can improve roadside safety.

The research

Sussex University scientists have found that exposing drivers to a whiff of rose scent can significantly reduce the number of auto accidents. They conducted a driving simulator experiment in a laboratory driving rig. The researchers outfitted the steering wheel with a spraying device. The technology in the spraying device released a brief puff of rose-scented fragrance when it detected a hazard in the road ahead, such as an approaching cyclist or vehicle. The researchers found that the scent calmed the drivers, and lowered accidents by 64 percent.

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Potential application in the auto industry

The scientists hope to use artificial intelligence (AI) to incorporate this technology into modern vehicle designs. According to Dmitrijs Dmitrenko, a doctoral researcher at Sussex University, a fragrancing system could alert the driver’s brain faster than a visual warning system (like current driver assist technologies use). “One of the advantages of smell over sight is that smell is quicker at reaching the brain,” he explains. “Smells take a while to reach the nose, but once the smell molecules reach the nose, the transition to nose and brain is quicker than eyes and ears.”

The researchers also found that the rose scent had to be a spontaneous whiff rather than a long-lasting aroma. So, it would have to be a built-in system in the vehicle rather than just an air freshener.

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News Source: Daily Mail