New Record Set for World’s Fastest Elevator

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As buildings get taller and taller, engineers have to solve a problem that goes beyond wind speeds and structural loads. In order to ferry people to the top of buildings that rise more than 2000 feet in the air, you need a pretty fast elevator. Hitachi’s latest high-speed elevator model—which just set the record for the world’s fastest elevator ride, according to New Atlas—is a good start.

Independent testing by the National Elevator Quality Supervision and Inspection Centre in Guangzhou, China, found that the elevator model can reach a top speed of just under 47 miles per hour.

To help passengers deal with the discomfort of traveling thousands of feet in the air, the elevator has an air-pressure adjustment feature that’s designed to keep your ears from getting plugged like they do on airplanes. And while it shoots up fast, it takes a slower descent (22 miles per hour), so it doesn’t feel so much like a terrifying amusement park ride.

The elevator will be a feature inside the Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, a new 1740-foot-tall skyscraper in Guangzhou, a port city near Shenzhen. It will go slightly slower, though, hitting just 44.7 miles per hour. Compared to most elevators, though, that’s plenty fast. Most top out at around 5.6 miles per hour. The fastest elevator in the western hemisphere, located inside 1 World Trade Center, moves at about 23 miles per hour.

The previous world record holder, a Mitsubishi elevator in the Shanghai Tower, travels around 45.7 miles per hour. Since it's a working elevator and this was just a test unit, Mitsubishi will probably hang on to its Guinness distinction for world's fastest elevator for now. That record was set in April.

[h/t New Atlas]