Future trends in vertical transportation

In the middle of the 19th century, the invention of a safety device that prevented elevators from falling enabled the construction of tall buildings and skyscrapers. At first, the elevators were made of electro-mechanical components. A challenge in tall buildings was that the elevator groups could occupy nearly 50 % of the rentable area of a building. In the 1970-80s, software-based control systems invaded elevator technology. Passenger service level was improved by applying mathematical methods such as Artificial Intelligence. In the 1990s as the old relay boards of the skyscrapers in New York were modernized by the software-based group controls, passenger waiting times dropped to less than a half. In the 21st century, the need to decrease elevator core space has further grown since a significant number of buildings already exceed 300 -800 meters. At the elevator planning stage, elevator core space can be decreased by zoning and by arranging sky lobbies in the higher part of the building. With the destination control systems, passenger journey times could be decreased. The latest trends include systems with several elevator cars running in the same shaft. Covid-19 sets its requirements for smaller cars. This article considers elevator planning with core space minimization and still meeting the required passenger service level. In the comparison of different solutions and technologies, people flow in a building is simulated with the KONE Building Traffic Simulator.