Prague City Council is starting to roll out contactless pedestrian buttons around the city as part of the effort to slow the spread of Covid-19.
The new contactless pedestrian buttons have already been put at the two crossings at Dvořákovo nábřeží.
Deputy Mayor for Transport Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě) is behind the idea of introducing contactless pedestrian buttons in Prague.
“There is no such system in Europe. I found similar buttons in Australia, but there we encountered a problem that it would not comply with Czech technical standards. So we tried to develop our own button,” he said.
The new contactless system is supplied by the Czech company Eltodo.
But how exactly does the contactless crossing work?
It’s pretty simple, actually. Right now, if you want to cross the street, you need to manually push a button whose purpose is to turn the light green for pedestrians and red for cars.
But because touching the button with your hand is no longer something recommended given the global health crisis, the contactless system changes this behavior by requiring you to wave the hand in front of a sensor. When this happens, the traffic light should again change accordingly to allow you to cross the street safely.
“One button has infrared detection, which is less reliable, especially depending on the visibility and color of the object. On the other hand, it is a bit cheaper and simpler than the second solution, “says Jan Drbohlav from Eltodo.
“The second solution works on the principle of radar detection, with a small chip inserted inside the yellow box,” he adds.
“We will test the buttons now when the weather conditions are worse, with snow, humidity, wind, rain. After six months, we should have enough feedback from our citizens,” says Scheinherr.
If the pilot program is successful, Prague could expand the contactless crossings to more locations with heavy traffic in the coming months.