The first public elevator was installed in a New York City building in 1874. Since then there has not been much change to its design. Most elevators still have a range that is restricted by the cable system that holds it in place, as well as the direction in which it can go. Technological advances have dictated an upgrade to our mobility; and engineering firm, ThyssenKrup, believe that the movement of elevators also needs to be improved. They have developed a modernized design, with a cable free system that will allow elevators to move horizontally as well as vertically. The firm has already conducted its first public tests, in a tower dedicated to the project, and plan to install the system in their new East Side Tower Building in Berlin.
This new elevator has been named ‘Multi,’ because of its ability to move in more than one direction. Its design is aimed at decreasing the wait time for an elevator, and replaces the cables with rails and magnetic fields. The system will also accommodate multiple cabins. The magnetic fields push the cabins along the rails, operating via a direct drive. This combination creates an in-building hyper loop, with each elevator shaft having multiple cabins. During busy periods the cabins will be able to autonomously plan and adjust their routes to prevent a ‘traffic jam’ in the system. Whenever a cabin has reached its destination, the entire system will rotate to allow it out. These new elevators will not be equipped with ‘up/down’ buttons, but will rely entirely on the rails for direction.
This revolutionary elevator concept will also change the way in which buildings are constructed. The problem associated with taking multiple elevators to get to the top floors of extremely high buildings, will be eliminated. Standard elevators are only able to extend up to 1600 feet safely, causing tall buildings to be constructed to accommodate the necessity of separate elevator shafts going up. Buildings will no longer be restricted in this way, resulting in more intricate designs in the future. Elevators can now access areas in buildings that were previously off limits. Even though the cost of one of these new elevator systems is currently five times the price of a standard one, the company is confident that its product will catch on quickly in an evolving world. Many people, especially building contractors and designers, will be willing to pay the higher costs for the extra convenience.