Putting two elevators in one shaft

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Once again Douglas Adams predicts the future:

Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as a sort of existential protest, demanded participation in the decision-making process and finally took to squatting in basements sulking.



Putting two elevators in one shaft
You know, Boingboing turned into a hardcore sex blog so gradually, I didn't even notice.

Elevators in hotels and typical office buildings have busy times in mornings and evenings when you have a lot of people wanting to go from/to the ground floor to the upper floors, at which point the sub-zones don’t seem useful. Or at least that’s what my wasted hours of Sim Tower has taught me. The newer Paternoster designs that have a lot more cars that circulate through shafts handle that case better.

The design does make sense for use cases like hospitals if the hospital has a lot of floors.


It’s been tried before, with apparent success:

‘I only hope,’ said Mr Wonka, ‘the Oompa-Loompas aren’t using the other Elevator today.’

‘What other Elevator?’ asked Charlie.

‘The one that goes the opposite way on the same track as this.’

‘Holy snakes, Mr Wonka! You mean we might have a collision?’

‘I’ve always been lucky so far, my boy…’


Turbo Lift 1.0


Not sure if I’d be less worried because there’s reduced distance to fall if a car is miraculously below mine when the cable snaps… or more worried at the prospect of one above tragically falling into mine.


When was the last time that a cable snapped on an elevator in the first world, causing it to plummet to the death of all those contained therein?
Fortunately, the Internet knows the gruesome answer.


Thank you for the link, and not to be ungrateful-- but after scanning that first paragraph, I have come to the decision that the quality of my future elevator riding will in no way be improved by reading further.

Good day, sir!


Would three cars in a shaft be even more efficient? What’s the limit? What if there was a shafts switching system on certain floors? I’m visualizing a setup like a revolvers bullet chamber, that would rotate in the center and get a car into a different shafts by spinning.


You know what else is inefficient? Requiring people to stand in front of the elevator door before they can request a ride. As long as the elevator software can know who’s in front of the door when the car arrives, then it should be able to take a request from anywhere in the building. Yes, it would complicate things. But giving the system 90 seconds of lead time to optimize things shold drastically reduce wait times during peak usage. If smart phones were used, the system could even tell you how long it expects you to wait for your car.


Mind = blown.


It seems like you wouldn’t need all that many people who want to go between the bottom and top (or close) to ruin any efficiency gains.


Hmm, sounds kind of risqué.


Used to hang with this freaky couple. Not unlike a good souffle, 2E1S is totally worth the trouble.


Can anyone recommend any good Two Elevators, One Shaft reaction videos?


I don’t think they mean Wonka-vators. I think the idea is that if the shaft has two or more elevator cars inside it, the software can allocate them in a way that ensures they never actually have to pass one another. For example, someone going up from floor one to floor three can use a different car than someone going up from floor four to floor seven. The system will be most efficient when passengers aren’t trying to pass through the same floors. If someone is going up from floor one to six and another person is going up from floor two to seven, one will have to wait until the other car clears the segment of the shaft they both must use. Even then, however, it can be much more efficient than a lone elevator car in the shaft. In addition to the fact that the second person going up won’t have to wait for a single car to come back down from taking the first passenger up, the second car can ride right behind the first car. So if the software can time the arrival of the two elevators optimally, the system will be only slightly less efficient than if the two cars paths don’t overlap.

You have to think two dimensionally, but one dimension is space (height) and the other is time.

Caveat: I could be wrong. I only skimmed the BB post and didn’t click through to the article. But if they didn’t design it that way, they should have.

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To obtain true efficiency someone need only develop detection & auto-laser-vaporization of ‘that’ kid who always punches all the buttons when exiting. Done & done.