• June 14, 2021, 10:44 p.m.

    Isaac mentioned the Elevator Conundrum for tall buildings. Part of the issue today is that every shaft can only carry one elevator.

    You could alleviate this with a system of 2 shafts, an 'Up' shaft for multiple ascending elevators, and a 'Down' shaft for all descending ones, going in a loop forever. It would work like a vertical commuter rail.
    Then as any shaft got taller, the number of elevators and people it could carry would scale up with it.

    BTW it would be yet more efficient if it worked like Personal Rapid Transit.
    In this approach, each elevator would move a little sideways out of the main shaft to load and unload people. Then other elevators could pass it non-stop, making every trip potentially an express trip.

    I imagine you'd need some sort of vertical electromagnetic rails to run this, rather than the traditional pulleys and hydraulics.

  • June 17, 2021, 12:10 a.m.

    Another solution to gain some efficiency.

    Design an App.that does this.

    Business man says, "Alexa, I need to go to floor 1367" and Alexa says, "Okay, go to third elavator on the left". Alexa is directing people to particular elevators so that all the people who want to go to floor 1367 end up on the same elevator. Tell the elevator system what floor you want to go to first, then the elevator system tells you what elevator to get into.

  • June 17, 2021, 3:53 p.m.

    That's a really good idea.

    Even before apps, if elevators simply had the destination-floor buttons in the hallway outside the elevator, they could have gained some of the same 'carpooling' efficiency you describe.

    Also, in a really big arcology, the distinction between elevators and subways would be moot. You would just pick a room number, and a single vehicle would zigzag its way through vertical and horizontal tubes to your closest stop, anywhere in 3D.

    High quality VR could remove some of the pressure on transit, but unmanned freight would still be going all over the place this way.

  • July 31, 2021, 1:24 a.m.

    To a minor extent this is how express elevators in large buildings work. Some elevators in the lobby can stop on every floor up to 30, 50, or n. If you are over that top floor, the express elevator tanks you to another bank of elevators on n+1, and it can only go to n+1 or the lobby which eliminates stops and allows to accelerate more since you have a much longer time to decelerate. Plus since everyone going to n+1 or above isn’t on the elevator that can stop at every floor, that elevator can carry more people with less stops as well.