Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

NSW government trials touchless pedestrian crossing sensors to minimise COVID-19 spread

Avoids the need to push the button to activate the pedestrian crossing signal.

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Image: Transport for NSW

The New South Wales government has announced it will be trialling the use of no-touch pedestrian crossing sensors in Burwood in a bid to minimise the transmission of the coronavirus and other bacteria.

The touchless infrared sensors are built into the pedestrian button and will mean pedestrians no longer need to push the pedestrian button to activate the signalised crossing.

Instead, pedestrians can activate the signal by hovering their hand over the sensor, which will flash from red to green when it has been activated.

The button will also continue to operate as normal for those who opt to push the button instead.

The signals will only change green when someone activates the button.

"We've seen automated pedestrian signals switched on in the Sydney CBD and at major health precincts and this new contactless button solution is just another way of protecting people in our community," Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said.

"This new pedestrian sensor is a fantastic example of how the COVID-19 situation has driven new ideas in technology and innovation to keep people safer and I look forward to the results of this trial in Burwood."

The touchless sensors will operate at the intersection of Burwood Road and Railway Parade, a high traffic and pedestrian area, for 24 hours, seven days a week.

The trial is being conducted in partnership with Braums and will run for three months.

This trial is in addition to the recent rollout of automated crossings in the Sydney CBD and in health precincts, such as Bondi Beach, Windsor, Redfern, and across greater Sydney.

There are now 272 intersections across 23 locations that feature the automated crossing, with 211 of those located in the Sydney CBD.

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