With so many industries changing due to the constant forward march of technology, it can be easy to forget the practical, everyday implications. The elevator industry is in the midst of several game-changing advancements that could revolutionize the way they operate in buildings across a post-pandemic world. But what trends are making waves in the sector right now?
From AI and touchless tech to the tiny servo-motors with built-in control circuitry used in elevator construction today, we’re going to explore where the industry is heading in the foreseeable future.
Since the pandemic, technology is increasingly being used to cater to the new normal we find ourselves living with. In this new world, there is an increased focus on keeping surfaces clean and clear of contamination. That means touch-free elevator tech is going to see a major boom in the coming months. Every time an elevator is called, potential virus germs are spread. But if you could utilize simple gestures or even control an elevator with your voice, it would completely cut out the need to use a touchpad or buttons. This is something we’ll be seeing much more of from this point onwards.
One of the trends we’re seeing in elevator technology, particularly in the US, is a design that sees more than one elevator using the same shaft. This is can be done through the use of a mechanism that can check how far apart the elevators are to stop them from colliding. It’s a wonderful way to increase efficiency without having to build a new shaft so will also save a lot of money in the long term for those willing to give the technology a try. This is a technology made possible thanks to the availability of smaller servo-motors that use less energy without losing operational power.
We’re not talking about sentient elevators here. Artificial intelligence is something that is increasingly being woven into every facet of our lives and it offers practicalities far beyond simply knowing when to be on the right floor. Real-time insights can be drawn from AI elevators and analytics can also be used to make predictive maintenance runs and ensure there is greater communication between customers and equipment.
Finally, some of the greatest advances in elevator technology and design in recent years have been in making elevators not only safer but faster too. In larger skyscrapers, this is something that is going to save people hundreds of minutes every year. The Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, for example, is one of the tallest buildings in the world but when it’s finally completed the elevator will be able to go from the ground floor to the top floor in under a minute. Now that is progress!