Main Roads Western Australia has started rolling out new technology at selected signalised pedestrian crossings with high volumes of pedestrian demand in the Perth Metropolitan area, testing the capabilities of new contactless sensors.
Signalised pedestrian crossings will have new sensors fitted that allow pedestrians to hover their hand over a sensor to activate the crossing as an alternative to the existing push button. The new technology will be trialled over a six-month period.
The new technology is set to be trialled at 50 locations across the Perth metropolitan area, with the trial locations to continue to have physical push buttons, audible crossing tone, and a vibrotactile arrow panel to assist hearing and visually impaired users.
An instructional diagram will be placed at all trial locations to identify the new technology and advise pedestrians on how to operate the new contactless sensor.
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the technology would provide comfort to those who may not be comfortable with making contact with pedestrian buttons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is brand new technology that will mean people have the option to hover their hand over the sensor rather than touch the push button,” she said.
“This provides more options for people who may not be comfortable with a push button, who may be immune-compromised or elderly.”
South Perth MLA Geoff Baker said the trail locations would provide accurate feedback for the technology trial.
“South Perth is a popular destination, with hundreds of people visiting for work or recreation every day,” he said.
“This is the perfect place for the start of the trial and I look forward to hearing from people on what they think of the new technology.”