Hitachi is building the world’s fastest elevator: 95 floors in 43 seconds

In 2016, Hitachi will take over Toshiba’s title as the maker of the fastest elevator in the world. The Japanese company’s slated to install two lifts that move at a swift 45mph inside China’s Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, currently under construction. Apparently, you can reach the 95th floor (the building will have 111 floors in all) straight from the ground in just 43 seconds on one of these zippy elevators — hardly long enough to freshen up before reaching the office. Toshiba’s current record-holding lifts in Taipei 101 (a skyscraper in Taiwan) ferry people up and down floors at only 38mph.

While you might typically associate 45mph with a relaxing Sunday drive, that speed takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to lifts. Would these speedy elevators trigger vertigo or cause passengers’ stomachs to drop like they would on a roller coaster? Construction won’t be done until 2016, so we don’t quite know. Hitachi, however, says the vertical speed demons have the technology to prevent ears from popping and to reduce any side-to-side-shaking. The company assures that its creation is perfectly safe to ride, as it’s made from heat-resistant materials.

The elevator also come with equipment (amazingly) called the “governor” which activates brakes when the system detects excessive speeds — Hitachi even built a 698-feet tower simply for testing in 2010. Room for improvement? Well, these elevators would be even better if they had Mitsubishi’s wheelchair-friendly add-on, but well, you can’t have everything.


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