Star Trek style maglev elavators are on the way

ThyssenKrupp maglev elevator

A German steel company is creating elevators that can travel vertically and horizontally.

The world's first cable-free elevator system has been created by ThyssenKrupp AG, a German steel and engineering company.

Bloomberg reports that the system uses the same maglev (magnetic levitation) technology as some high-speed trains. This means the elevator can move its cargo horizontally, as well as vertically. Mutliple elevators will be able to run on the same shaft too.

In a statement from the German steel giant on Thursday, they said the cabins will run in a loop traveling 5 meters a second, so passengers only have to wait about 15-30 seconds for the next cabin to come along.

The statement also said that in New York each year workers spend a total of 16.6 years waiting for elevators, and then another 5.9 years riding inside them. ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG's CEO said the stats show "how imperative it is to increase the availability."

Capacity will be increased by 50% in ThyssenKrupp's "holy grail of the elevator industry," at least that's what the company themselves are calling it.

The cabins also require smaller shafts than our regular cable elevators that we currently use. The MULTI system is designed for mid and high-rise buildings, with a max height of 300 meters at the very least. A prototype is expected by the company before the end of 2016.

Check out the video from ThyssenKrupp's YouTube channel below for an idea on how it's all going to work.

It's not quite Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but it's a step in the right direction towards a more Star Trek style elevator system at least.