But the elevator won’t be operating in Japan.
In many countries outside Japan, Hitachi is best known as a maker of TVs, PCs, and other consumer electronics. However, the company is actually involved in a wide variety of electrical and mechanical engineering endeavors, including manufacturing and installing elevators.
Considering that elevators have been a standard feature of high-rises for generations, elevator design might not seem like the most difficult test of scientific minds, but Hitachi isn’t making just recycling old schematics. Instead, it’s working on ways to make elevators faster and safer than ever before, and in the process it’s set a new speed record.
A Hitachi-made elevator was recently clocked rising at a speed of 1,260 meters per minute, or 75.6 kilometers per hour (4,134 feet per minute, or 47 miles per hour). In terms of vertical ascension, that would get to the top of New York’s Empire State Building in just 18 seconds, and all the way to the top of Mt. Fuji in just three minutes.
Conservationists, however, will be happy to know that Hitachi has no plans to install an elevator at Mt. Fuji. Instead, the speedy lift will be operating in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in China, which stretches 530 meters into the sky. The original target was for the elevator to reach a top speed of 1,200 meters per minute, but by exceeding that mark Hitachi’s elevator manages to edge out the 1,230-meter-per-minute elevator from Japanese rival Mitsubishi that’s in use in the Shanghai Tower, making Hitachi’s the fastest in the world.