Standard vertical elevators have had it too good, for too long. After the first cable dependent elevator was unveiled in 1857, not much has changed in the elevator industry. They’re still using cable systems and still only going up and down. But not anymore. ThyssenKrupp has officially made a multi-directional elevator a reality.
The elevator company first announced its multi-directional elevator concept in 2014 and has since been working on developing the technology. They reached a huge milestone recently, as they have finished construction of an 807 foot (246m) tall test building that has the elevator concept in it. Construction of the building, which is located in Rottweil, Germany, took roughly two and a half years.
Unlike traditional elevators, MULTI (as the concept is being called), utilizes a direct drive system that does not rely on cables to direct the cabin. Like a subway system, the cabins will all run on a loop system and utilizes a multi-level brake system. According to ThyssenKrupp, the concept allows for 50% higher transport capacity and can reduce peak power demand by up to 60%.
“We believe MULTI is a genuine game-changer that will truly transform the way people move, work and live in our built environment. It will reduce waiting times for passengers and take up significantly less space within the building. MULTI is a key offering that truly represents a landmark revolution in the elevator industry,” said thyssenkrupp Elevator CEO Andreas Schierenbeck in a press release.
The test tower contains 12 elevator shafts which can test the cabins at speeds up to 40.26mph (18 mps). The company believes that the system can actually increase the usable area of a building by up to 25%, as the system requires fewer and smaller shafts. Outside of the test site, the very first MULTI system will be installed at an upcoming project in Berlin, Germany.
Sideways movement will definitely open up a new world of possibilities for future high rise construction. I’m extremely interested to see how the navigation panel looks inside the cabin. You won’t just have to choose your floor anymore, so you’ll really need to know exactly where you’re going in order to tell the elevator where to go.
Check out the video below, from ThyseenKrupp to see MULTI in action: