More and more people are choosing to live and work in urban settings. Because of this, the demand for efficient and effective infrastructure is increasing steadily. Buildings are getting taller and more populated, offices expanding, and operating costs increasing. Innovations in building technology, including elevator installation and modernization, have evolved to face these challenges. What are smart elevators – and should you consider them for your building or building project?
What is a Smart Elevator?
People living and working in urban centers spend hours of their lives each year waiting for elevators to arrive. Installing smart elevators potentially cuts down on wait times, ride times, and unnecessary stops. Answering the call to make more efficient elevator systems which move people more efficiently to and from their desired floors, smart elevators are computerized and gather more information than traditional elevators. Smart elevators know how many people want to ride to and from each floor, and send cars appropriately. Also known as destination dispatch.
How It Works
When building occupants enter the building’s lobby, there is a keypad podium, or key card swipe. Users either enter their desired floor, or swipe their security key card, and the smart system assigns them to an elevator car. For instance, riders moving to the 20th, 21st, and 26th floor of a building are grouped together, and the elevator is not required to stop on floors where only a single passenger will exit. Passengers stopping at floors 12, 14, and 16 are in another car. Essentially, instead of sending three different cars to the same floor, the smart system sends one car to the same floor, freeing up the others.
Because the smart elevator uses a keypad or key card system, smart elevator cars do not have buttons exposed to the public; the elevator knows where you’re going before you board. Additionally, smart elevator cars constantly monitor weight distribution, and full cars will not make additional stops if there is not enough load capacity to safely onboard new passengers.
What it Means for Your Business
While smart elevators are more expensive to retrofit and install, they are also potentially more efficient. By minimizing empty trips, there is less wear on the elevator overall, leading to longevity of the elevator and its components. Some smart elevator units can monitor each individual component of the elevator, proactively planning maintenance and saving the operator money on repairs or major stoppages.
Another organizational benefit may be that employees spend less time waiting for elevators, leading to increased productivity.
What it Means for Passengers
Aside from the obvious benefit of less waiting time and fewer unnecessary stops, smart elevators can mean more convenience and consideration for passengers. For instance, because the smart elevator gathers information so frequently, it can remember a specific person’s riding habits, and know to repeat them. Importantly, the system can identify a disabled or differently abled rider based on their key card, doors can be held for longer for those who need extra time, or someone who is vision impaired may have the number of the elevator annunciated from the keypad system.
By installing a smart elevator, you ensure your riders’ needs are met each time they enter the building.
Smart elevators are not the way of the future, they’re becoming a necessity. Larger populations and bigger buildings lead to owners calling for more efficient and rider-friendly elevators, and smart elevators are the answer to these requests. When passengers are happy and building owners have peace of mind that their elevators are running safely and efficiently, everyone wins.