The fastest elevator in the world was recently installed in China’s Shanghai Tower, the second-tallest building in the world, and it is faster than Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt. Designed by Mitsubishi Electric, the elevator shoots visitors to a viewing tower at a dizzying rate of 67-feet-per-second. The speedy ride is made worthwhile at the top with sweeping views of Shanghai.
Mitsubishi Electric was able to shatter records with their new elevator through a control panel that can “maximize the traction machine’s performance” and improvements to safety features like the buffer, brake device, and speed governor. The company says based on passenger traffic, the elevator can switch between 1,080 meters per minute or 1,230 meters per minute, which is around 40 miles per hour to nearly 46 miles per hour. The elevator can zoom from “the second-level basement to the 119th floor in just 53 seconds.”
The company said in a release, “While Mitsubishi Electric’s cutting-edge technologies drastically increase the speed, the elevator also delivers enhanced safety, top-level riding comfort, silence, and power saving.”
The Shanghai Tower elevator makes elevators in iconic, modern buildings like One World Trade Center and the Burj Khalifa seem sluggish. Visitors to One World Trade Center can climb through the building at around 33-feet-per-second, and in the Burj Khalifa visitors travel at about 32 feet per second. Another Chinese skyscraper, Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, held the record for world’s quickest elevator briefly at 65-feet-per-second. Unveiled this summer, the elevator was overtaken rapidly by the new Shanghai Tower elevator.
Elevator engineering expert Albert So told CNN there is likely a limit to how fast an elevator can rocket through a building. He said, “I predict the maximum speed of a vertical lift cabin cannot be more than 79-feet-per-second. This is not because we can’t make lifts that go faster than this, but because of the air pressure.”