Many of us who have ridden inside an elevator since its invention 160 years ago are accustomed to hearing its ominous hums and creaks, as well as stories of malfunctioning elevators that cause people to be stuck inside for hours. So, the idea of hopping into a cable-free elevator in a mid to high-rise building can sound both thrilling and nerve-wracking. That idea is soon to become a reality for global transportation manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, who is set out to test the first units of their cable-free MULTI elevator system once the testing tower in Rottweil, Germany is complete by the end of 2016.
Operating on a circular system, the elevators will be able to move vertically and horizontally in a loop at a speed of 5 m/s, powered by new linear motor technology similar to that of the Transrapid magnetic-levitation train. Passengers would have access to an elevator cabin every 15-30 seconds with a transfer stop every 50 meters.