German industrial giant ThyseenKrupp is pioneering horizontal elevators

Are horizontal elevators the urban technology of the future?

 

Alex La Ferla

Tech

Published Dec 2, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 2:09 am CDT

If German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp has its way, we may soon be living in a world full of Wonkavators. The company claims its technology has the potential to let elevators move horizontally as well as vertically, use less space in buildings, and greatly reduce wait times.

ThyssenKrupp has adapted linear motor technology, a type of magnetic levitation similar to that used in high speed rail projects, for use in its elevator design. This innovation will allow multiple cars to travel in smaller shafts that are free to bend at right angles, giving architects new flexibility in building design and presenting real estate developers with a potential boon of up to 40 percent extra usable area.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUa8M0H9J5o

“The era of the rope-dependent elevator is now over, 160 years after its invention,” claims a press release on the company’s website. Testing for the new system will begin at a brand new testing tower in Rottweil, Germany starting in 2016.

Screengrab via ThyssenKrupp/YouTube

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*First Published: Dec 2, 2014, 8:26 pm CST