Skip to main content

Faster than a speeding — elevator. Shanghai Tower claims to have world's fastest

shanghai tower fastest elevator
In our era, that 15 minutes of fame everyone is entitled to seems to have become shorter and shorter. A recently completed elevator in the Shanghai Tower now claims the title of “World’s Fastest Elevator.” But for how long?

When it was completed in 2015, the Shanghai Tower garnered the impressive if somewhat lackluster title of “World’s Second Tallest Building,” being outdone by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai by nearly 700 feet. However, could the Shanghai Tower at least hold first place for the speed of its state-of-the-art elevator? Engineers believe so.

Thousands of people travel up and down the Shanghai Tower on a daily basis. With such a massive number of humans bustling in and out, speed is the name of the game. As buildings worldwide continue to outdo one another — in terms of height — the need for more efficient elevators is greater than ever. The engineers at Mitsubishi Electric felt that with the Tower, they were up to the daunting task of creating the crown jewel in elevator tech.

The previous record holder was the CTF Finance Center in Guangzhou. That elevator — created by Hitachi — is capable of lifting passengers at the breakneck speed of 65 feet per second. The elevator has the capacity to zoom from the bottom floor to the 95th floor in an unbelievable 45 seconds.

The elevator in the Shanghai Tower can lift passengers at a speed of nearly 46 miles per hour, or more than 67 feet per second. Mitsubishi Electric claims the elevator can travel from the second level basement to the 119th floor in 53 seconds. No word was offered on what state the passengers would be in when they arrived there.

This wasn’t just a feeding frenzy to create the world’s fastest elevator. Mitsubishi also incorporated an array of performance features into their record-breaking product. There are vast improvements to safety features, like buffer and braking upgrades as well as a speed governor. It should also be noted that the elevator has the capacity to switch between various speed settings as well. Depending on the levels of traffic at any given time, the elevator can travel between 40 and 46 miles per hour.

It may seem like the ability to lift a big box upward, more quickly than others would be rather simple, and it is. However, when you’re talking about traveling at near-highway speeds and stopping rather suddenly, it is important to consider the comfort level of passengers onboard. Not to mention the basic limitations and structural integrity of the cables. Is this as good as it gets, or have the elevator wars only begun?

Some engineers believe the Shanghai Tower elevator can and will be topped, however, the apex in performance is on the horizon. Albert So, an elevator engineering expert, recently reiterated this sentiment in an interview with CNN:

“I predict the maximum speed of a vertical lift cabin cannot be more than 79 feet per second,” noted So. “This is not because we can’t make lifts that go faster than this, but because of the air pressure.”

That sure sounds like a challenge.

Dallon Adams
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Dallon Adams is a graduate of the University of Louisville and currently lives in Portland, OR. In his free time, Dallon…
Meet the game-changing pitching robot that can perfectly mimic any human throw
baseball hitter swings and misses

Who’s your favorite baseball pitcher? Shane McClanahan? Sandy Alcantara? Justin Verlander? Whoever you said, two of the top sports-tech companies in the U.S. -- Rapsodo and Trajekt Sports -- have teamed up to build a robot version of them, and the results are reportedly uncannily accurate.

Okay, so we’re not talking about walking-talking-pitching standalone robots, as great a sci-fi-tinged MLB ad as that would be. However, Rapsodo and Trajekt have combined their considerable powers to throw a slew of different technologies at the problem of building a machine that's able to accurately simulate the pitching style of whichever player you want to practice batting against -- and they may just have pulled it off, too.

Read more
The best portable power stations
EcoFlow DELTA 2 on table at campsite for quick charging.

Affordable and efficient portable power is a necessity these days, keeping our electronic devices operational while on the go. But there are literally dozens of options to choose from, making it abundantly difficult to decide which mobile charging solution is best for you. We've sorted through countless portable power options and came up with six of the best portable power stations to keep your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets functioning while living off the grid.
The best overall: Jackery Explorer 1000

Jackery has been a mainstay in the portable power market for several years, and today, the company continues to set the standard. With three AC outlets, two USB-A, and two USB-C plugs, you'll have plenty of options for keeping your gadgets charged.

Read more
CES 2023: HD Hyundai’s Avikus is an A.I. for autonomous boat and marine navigation
Demonstration of NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

This content was produced in partnership with HD Hyundai.
Autonomous vehicle navigation technology is certainly nothing new and has been in the works for the better part of a decade at this point. But one of the most common forms we see and hear about is the type used to control steering in road-based vehicles. That's not the only place where technology can make a huge difference. Autonomous driving systems can offer incredible benefits to boats and marine vehicles, too, which is precisely why HD Hyundai has unveiled its Avikus AI technology -- for marine and watercraft vehicles.

More recently, HD Hyundai participated in the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, to demo its NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system for recreational boats. The name mashes together the words "neuron" and "boat" and is quite fitting since the Avikus' A.I. navigation tech is a core component of the solution, it will handle self-recognition, real-time decisions, and controls when on the water. Of course, there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes with HD Hyundai's autonomous navigation solution, which we'll dive into below -- HD Hyundai will also be introducing more about the tech at CES 2023.

Read more