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

Victorian government trials touchless pedestrian crossing technology in Melbourne

Pedestrians just simply need to wave their hands to activate the pedestrian crossing signal.

Victorian government trials touchless pedestrian crossing technology in Melbourne

The Victorian government has teamed up with Johnson Controls and Braums to trial the use of touchless pedestrian crossings sensors in Melbourne to minimise transmission of the coronavirus.

The automated pedestrian crossing, developed by Johnson Controls, uses infrared technology so pedestrians do not have to physically push the button. Instead, they simply wave their hand in front of the button, which will trigger the signalised crossing.

The push-button, however, will continue to exist for the visually impaired.

The technology is initially being trialled in front of Melbourne's Royal Women's Hospital and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

"The pandemic has resulted in an urgent need for innovations that promote public safety and prevent disease transmission within the community. Therefore, with the initial trials conducted with the Department of Transport hailed a success, Johnson Controls is looking forward to expanding the technology further afield," Johnson Controls said in a statement.  

The company added it is working with "several local councils who own and maintain large numbers of pedestrian crossings and traffic signal assets to deliver the next phase of trials".

The trial follows in the footsteps of the New South Wales government, which announced last month that it was partnering with Braums to run a three-month trial of similar technology in Burwood.

The trial by the NSW government 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.

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