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TikTok shows futuristic pedestrian crossing in Melbourne for people distracted by smartphones

Australian pedestrians have been left stunned by lights embedded into public footpaths to stop phone zombies from killing themselves at pedestrian crossings.

Video footage shows the footpaths in Melbourne turning red and green to help 'phone zombies' while they cross the road.

The TikTok video, posted by VeronicaB, shows the bright squares in action.

'Bro look how sick Melbourne is,' she says. 

A TikTok user in Melbourne has left social media users stunned after sharing a video of an in-ground pedestrian crossing at a CBD intersection (pictured)

'The light across the road is red so the floor flashes red, and when it's green so you can walk, guess what the floor flashes green, are you kidding?'

'I've been living in Melbourne my entire life and have seen none of these,' one person wrote. 

The 12-second video shows the LED lights turn from red to green signalling when to cross to pedestrians distracted by their mobile phones 

'I literally live in the city and didn't know this, what?' another commented. 

A third user pointed out the lights were installed to protect people who were distracted by their mobile phones when crossing the road.

'It's because people are looking at their phones while walking and are not alert while crossing'.

Despite the initial shock over the futuristic looking technology, the in-ground lights - also known as Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI) - have been installed since 2017. 

Four sets of flashing lights were installed at the corner of Swanston Street and Little Collins Street with funding from Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC), in an effort to safeguard pedestrians distracted by their smart phones. 

Intended to be a one year trial at heavy foot-traffic intersections across the city, the LED lights have since expanded to Bendigo and Trafalgar in rural Victoria.

A similar system was implemented in Seoul that shows curbs lit up with green and red lights (pictured)

The in-ground traffic lights were installed to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents related to 'smartphone-obsessed zombies'

Sydney installed in-ground lights as part of a trial in 2017 at a cost of $250,000, but studies failed to reveal benefits. 

While the lights did reduce the numbers of people crossing on a red light, it was not a higher rate of people looking at their phones, compared to people who were paying attention. 

A similar system was implemented in Seoul that shows curbs lit up with green and red lights, indicating when it's safe to cross the road. 

The technology was introduced in 2019 as a response to pedestrians who are distracted also known as 'smombies' - or 'smartphone-obsessed zombies'.

Alongside the lights, the government also implemented an alert system which sends a notification to phones if walkers are about to step into traffic.

Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology senior researcher Kim Jong-hoon told E&T the measures were crucial in protecting pedestrians distracted by their mobile phones.

'Increasing number of smombie accidents have occurred in pedestrian crossings, so these zombie lights are essential to prevent these pedestrian accidents,' Mr Jong-hoon said.