There have been many elevator upgrade projects with the aim of saving energy and time for the managers and occupants of buildings. I suspect this has to do with the increase in height and volume of people moving in and out of buildings, and one of the trends I have noticed is the system put in place for people to select the floor they want to go to before entering the elevator (so no up or down buttons any more) and being allocated a specific elevator number to enter.
Theoretically the system would be able to calculate the most efficient way to dispatch the elevators if it knows all the floors that people want to exit the elevator. Practically I suspect this depends on the degree which the path of the elevator (i.e. which floors it opens at) can be disrupted with additional requests as it traverses the floors.
I am curious as to whether there have been studies of elevator dispatch algorithms combined with human behaviour to optimize such systems, as I see the factors at play include:
- The distance between the floor selection control and the elevator door
- The number of floors in the building
- The number of elevators in the building
- The distribution of the occupants in the building that have a need to go to other floors (other than the shared floors like Ground and car park)
- The amount of disruption allowed to the path of the elevator
So to me this seems like a very complex problem to which a single solution seems to have been proposed that will apparently cater for all these different types of scenarios.
How does the system take into account that this is not the usual behaviour for people used to pressing the call button and selection the floor once they are inside the lift? Are there specific design strategies that makes it more 'user-friendly'?
Additionally, is there also a higher cost for people who change their mind or get off at the wrong floor and have to try and get back to the correct floor?
But I guess most importantly, as with most designs, people also adjust their behaviour when they are exposed to a new system, so that they end up not necessarily using it the way it is intended.
UPDATE: I tried to do a little bit more research, and apparently I should be looking at Destination Dispatch Systems. There are some companies that explain the systems in more details available: