Over the past few years the company has been constructing a 246-m (807-ft) high test tower and refining the technology that would allow multiple cars to move vertically and horizontally in a single shaft using a magnet-based drive system similar to that in Maglev trains. Just last week, after two-and-a-half years of construction, the test tower and first fully functional Multi unit were launched.
The test tower, located in Rottweil, Germany, specifically designed for ThyssenKrupp's research and development contains 12 shafts that can test elevator speeds up to 10 meters per second (22.45 mph), plus three dedicated shafts especially designed for certifying the new cable-free elevator system.
The Multi system is the biggest innovation in elevator design since the cable-dependent elevator was invented over 160 years ago. Replacing cables with linear motors that allow vertical as well as horizontal travel not only results in more cabins being able to travel along single shafts, but also offers architects entirely new possibilities for building design.