Going up? Hitachi Plans World's Fastest Elevator

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If you need to get to the top floor in a hurry, Hitachi will have you covered. The company plans to build the world’s fastest elevators for a new skyscraper in China.

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The CTF building currently under construction in Guangzhou, southern China, will have 111 floors above ground containing apartments, hotel space and offices. But that’s not the impressive part. Hitachi plans to build two elevators in the new building that can zip from the first floor to the 95th in 43 seconds.

This speed — essentially 45 miles per hour — would make them the fastest elevators in the world, according to the BBC’s Dave Lee. Currently the speed record is held by Taipei 101, which has an elevator that can go 37.65 miles per hour, launching passengers from the fifth floor to the 89th in 37 seconds.

Hitachi said in a press release that the company will use technologies in the CTF building elevators that prevent lateral vibration and reduce the feeling that your ears are blocked because of the drastic air pressure changes. Rollers are also supposed to make the rides more comfortable.

Hitachi’s planned record-breaking elevators are just two out of 95 total elevators. Of those, 28 are going to be double-decker elevators and a bunch of others will still be high-speed — just not the absolute highest. The building is scheduled for completion in 2016.

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While the prospect of a rocket-like elevator gives me the willies, there could be upshots. Such a fast ride means nobody needs to feel awkward for long, make small talk or endure inane music. Plus if some nervous passenger accidentally cuts one, everyone can get away in under a minute.

Image: Hitachi is designing a 45-mph elevator for the CTF Guangzhou skyscraper (center) under construction now in Guangzhou, China. Credit: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates / Mike Klausmeier / CTBUH

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