ThyssenKrupp Develops Cable-Free Elevator Propelled by Magnets

ThyssenKrupp AG has developed the world’s first cable-free system that uses magnets to propel elevators through buildings.

The system, which uses the same magnetic levitation -- or maglev -- technology used in some high-speed trains, can move passengers horizontally as well as vertically and allows multiple elevators to pass through a single shaft, the German manufacturer said today in a statement. Cabins run in a loop traveling at 5 meters (16 feet) a second, meaning passengers wait only 15 to 30 seconds for the next ride.

Each year in New York, office workers spend a cumulative 16.6 years waiting for elevators, and 5.9 years riding in them, Andreas Schierenbeck, chief executive officer of ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG, said in the statement. That shows “how imperative it is to increase the availability.”

The cable-free design, which ThyssenKrupp calls “the holy grail of the elevator industry,” will increase capacity by 50 percent and saves space because it allows more than one cabin to travel through a shaft at one time. It also requires smaller shafts than conventional elevators.

The MULTI system is designed for mid- and high-rise buildings, with an optimal height of at least 300 meters. The company plans to have a prototype running by the end of 2016.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE