Random muse on elevators
Being in NYC, I use a lot of elevators. Now, this might be a bit nerdy but, the algorithms used in elevators have always intrigued me.. even from a practical POV.
- Why don’t elevator doors stay open when idle on floors (and during times) where people commonly enter (as opposed to exit)? In theory, this could shave a few seconds each time.
- I’m in a 10-story building with 2 elevators, E#1 at floor 10 and idle, and E#2 at floor 5 and going up. If I’m on floor 1 and hit the Up button.. why would I have to wait for E#2 instead of E#1 coming down to get me?
- What is the optimal floor # for taller buildings to segment elevator banks? ie. if you have a 100 story building, at what n should you have a second bank of elevators that skip floors 2 through n?
- Do elevators keep track of how many times a “request” button is pressed? (my assumption is no, but it’d be interesting if this stat was used)
- Could you design an elevator system (with reasonable practical and financial constraints) that adapts and learns based on usage?
- (and a nice-to-know fact) What % of elevators have a working Open/Close button?
- (and more of a pet peeve) Is it really more cost-effective to hire someone to man an elevator vs. upgrading to an automated one? The inefficiency of manually-controlled elevators really annoy me.
Of course, these questions only generally address optimizing users’ wait times. It doesn’t take into account optimization of power usage, maintenance costs, etc.
Anyone have any opinions on this? Is there an easy way for us non-elevator-engineers to somehow tap into an elevator system and tweak its algorithm (and measure our results)?