When you board an elevator along with other people, you press a button to take you to your destination. However, it would stop at almost every single floor on the way as other people need to get off, which means that it would take a long time to reach your floor.

Conventional accessibility systems that use up and down buttons only know the general directions that passengers need to travel. They lack key information such as how many people are waiting on each floor and which floor they want to go. They also do not know the actual destination until and unless people press floor buttons inside the device.

New technology has changed this scenario. Known as “Destination Dispatch”, this smart technology has been around since the late 1990s and is widely used in skyscrapers, office buildings and hotels in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Computer algorithms can send the right lift to the correct floor, ensuring higher speed and efficiency. This eliminates bunching and distributes people more evenly as well the unnecessary stops, significantly reducing total travel and wait times. This is how it works:

Users enter their specific floor destination on a touch-screen panel at the call station and are assigned to a lettered elevator with other people who are going to the same floor. It analyzes the closet car by direction and speed. The main benefit of this new system is that the lift quickly travels to that floor skipping unnecessary stops at different lower levels. People who want to go to other floors are sent to a different lift. In high-rise buildings, this can reduce travel times by half.

Smart accessibility system design could also help people with special needs by reading additional details on each rider. For example, a user who has trouble in walking could be assigned to a closer lift or the doors could be opened longer. To help wheelchair users, less people could be assigned to the lift so that maximum space is available. For blind people, a recording could provide the device number or letter.

Destination dispatch technology was initially installed in higher-end tall office buildings. However, the demand for installing this technology in low-rise and residential towers is growing.