Prague testing contactless pedestrian button

Due to the pandemic, Prague is trying out a new contactless pedestrian button at the crossing on Dvořák's embankment at Klášterská Street.

Prague's Deputy Mayor for Transportation Adam Scheinherr (Praha Sobě) came out with an idea for a contactless pedestrian button during the first wave of the pandemic last spring. According to him, these buttons basically do not exist on the European market.

Finally, Technical Road Administration (TSK) and the Eltodo Company produced a prototype that will be in operation for six months. The city will collect feedback from citizens whether they consider it beneficial.

It was not necessary to replace the current buttons - it only had a microwave sensor installed that works on the basis of an infrared sensor and it set off by placing a palm five to twenty centimetres in front of it.

The system is capable of recalibrating if someone puts an obstacle over the sensor - for example a sticker. However, a mechanical button will remain in place at all crossings where the sensor may be installed in the future - in case it breaks down.

If the new system proves successful, the city will install it in other places during scheduled reconstructions of intersections and traffic lights. By 2022, about a hundred traffic lights are to be renovated anyway. In addition to feedback from people, the final price of the buttons will also be considered.

Last spring, the city turned off the pedestrian buttons for several weeks to combat the coronavirus pandemic. However, it complicated traffic in some places, mainly on four-lane roads, such as Švehlova, Průmyslová or Patočkova streets.