#2013: Liftwist

It’s not uncommon for a lift to admit people on one side of the compartment and discharge them from the opposite side when they reach their destination floor.

Today’s invention is a lift which travels inside a shaft big enough to allow it to rotate (slowly) about a vertical axis as it transits from floor to floor.

People would wait at one of four doors, out of sight of each other. The lift compartments would have a door on each face. When each door opens, a walkway is automatically dropped to allow ingress or egress across the gap (in directions indicated by internal displays before getting to the next floor).

In a multistorey building, each lift can decide, during transit, which way to face when it next stops.

This allows the lift itself to calculate, based on data about the current call button pressings, which doors to open so that the numbers of leavers and joiners are as nearly equal as possible. Since all four doors might open at once, loading and unloading can be smoother.

All of which means that the lifts would each run nearly full, and allow faster boarding, whilst minimising overcrowding.

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