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Old Posted Aug 7, 2015, 8:32 PM
drumz0rz drumz0rz is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 623
I was actually dreaming up a new elevator system similar to this so it's really cool to read about.

If you've ridden the Tower of Terror ride at Disney you may know that those cars are actually autonomous vehicles, and they share the lift shafts. When you board the car travels horizontally away from the door into the shaftway, and at the end, it moves forward back to the door.

By de-coupling the car from the shaft / hoist equipment, I think it revolutionizes the elevator industry and design. This is what I dream of:

Imagine a lobby of 6 or 12 doors. Using destination dispatch, you're assigned to a door, and a... let's call them 'Autonomous Lift Vehicles' (ALVs) is sent to pick you up. Once in the ALV, you move horizontally to the shared shaftway, and then up you go to your destination floor. When you arrive on the floor, there may only be 2 or 4 doors. You move horizontally out of the shaftway and to the door. This lets other ALVs pass by while that ALV is loading and unloading.

Buildings no longer need to employ multiple shaftways for different zones (low rise, mid rise, high rise) or sky lobbies to reduce floor plate space. Now a few shaftways in the core handle all the up and down building traffic and the lobbies are offset from the shaftways.

Similar to how an amusement park operates the trains of a roller coaster, the ALVs could be stored in a basement garage when not in use. Here they could be serviced without disruption to the building. Depending on demand levels, ALVs would be added and removed from the system as needed. Overnight on the weekend? Perhaps only 2 or 3 can serve the whole building. Friday afternoon rush hour? You might need 80 ALVs in circulation.

Vertical travel could be compressed by using a moving blocking system similar to CBTC on subway and commuter rail lines. The biggest bottle neck would be passenger loading, which is why you could have a single vertical shaftway split into 2-8 different loading zones on the lobby floor.

I wish I could work on this project, it seems as the next big evolutionary jump in elevator tech and ultimately high rise design.
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