Hitachi has said it will install a lift capable of reaching speeds of 72km/h (45mph) into a skyscraper in Guangzhou, southern China. The lift, the fastest in the world, would take 43 seconds to go from the first to 95th floor in the Guangzhou CTF Financial Centre, the company said. The skyscraper is scheduled to be completed in 2016. Currently, the Taipei 101 building in Taiwan holds the record for fastest lift – it can travel up to 60.6km/h.
Hitachi promised a “comfortable ride” even at high speeds in the new lift. The lifts would prevent ear blockages, Hitachi said, by artificially altering air pressure in the car. Dr Gina Barney, an expert in lift technology, said protecting passengers from discomfort was a big challenge for high-speed lifts. “When you’re travelling that distance, you’re going to get pressures on your ears changing,” she told the BBC. “That’s probably the most significant problem with high-speed travel in buildings – people suffer some pain.”
Hitachi said guiding “rollers” that adapted to warping caused by wind pressure would mean the ride remained smooth. And brakes able to resist extreme heat would activate in the “unlikely” event of a malfunction. The building will have in total 95 lifts, two of which will be operate at the ultra-high speed. Via Hitachi to build ‘world’s fastest’ lift in China.