Everywhere you look, transport is being dragged into the 21st century – Google is developing driverless cars, Uber has revolutionized the taxi business, and trains can hover over their tracks .
One company has seen this technological change and applied it to elevators.
German company ThyssenKrupp has announced that the era of lifts being winched up by cables is over – the future is magnets.
The firm has invented a cable-free elevator system that can move cabins horizontally as well as vertically using magnetic force, reminiscent of the lift in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
“As the nature of building constructions evolve, it is also necessary to adapt elevator systems to better suit the requirements of buildings and high volumes of passengers,” said Andreas Schierenbeck, chief executive of ThyssenKrupp Elevator.
The company, which is also involved in shipbuilding and the car industry, believes its MULTI elevator technology will save power and be more economical, as multiple lifts can occupy a single shaft, increasing transport capacity by up to 50pc.
Designed for “mid and high-rise buildings”, the MULTI design sends cabins round in a loop at around five metres per second, stopping them using a “multi-level braking system”. Cabins will weigh 50pc less than current models as ThyssenKrupp will use new lightweight materials.
All this means that passengers will have to wait just 15 to 30 seconds for the next available lift.
“Per year, New York City office workers spend a cumulative amount of 16.6 years waiting for elevators, and 5.9 years in the elevators. This data provides how imperative it is to increase the availability of elevators,” Mr Schierenbeck added.
ThyssenKrupp Elevator, which has sales of €6.4bn and employs more than 50,000 employees at 900 locations, hopes to have a prototype lift up and running by the end of 2016.
Here is a video of the elevator: