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Optimised elevator booking system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000179323D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Feb-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Feb-12
Document File: 2 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This article deals with a method providing dynamic management of elevator reservations and usage by automatically grouping users according to common goals (destination floors, common interests, etc) in order to achieve better efficiency, reduction of energy usage, better user experience.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

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Optimised elevator booking system

In busy hotels and conference facilities, it is common for many people to become free at the same time (e.g. at conference breaks) and a large percentage of those people wish to return to their rooms to check email, make phone calls or to freshen up. The current state-of-the-art requires a first-come-first-served queue for the lift (elevator), and as the lift fills up the users specify on what floor they wish to alight. It is clear that this behaviour leads to poor optimization of the lifts, and many lifts in parallel stop on the same floors. It would be better if occupants of the same floor were concentrated in one lift to reduce the number of overall lift stops and to optimize the average time-to-destination.

    In some skyscrapers, there are dedicated lifts to certain floor ranges, which helps somewhat, but this is somewhat static, and requires an increased number of liftshafts.

    In the proposed methodology the individual lifts are assigned to certain ranges of floors, in order to optimize average time-to-destination for the group of people requiring lift transportation at any one time. It is based on the fact that room keys in hotels and conference facilities are now largely electronic, and that they could be used to register a desired destination for the lifts and not solely for access to the room in question. Using this method a lift could signal its destination floor range when opening at any particular floor, and only guests wishing to go to those floors would enter.

    Leveraging the same 'electronic key', used in hotels to unlock entry to the user's room, to also signal to a lift system the destination floor, the elevator is reserved automatically without the need of pressing a button once inside the lift. So, instead of pressing a button with an up or down arrow key, the user swipes his/her roomkey. The lift system registers interest in certain destinations, and uses the appropriate algorithms to dedicate specific lifts to specific floors in order to mnimize the average time-to-destination for the guests.

    Hereafter an example of how the "intelligent elevator booking" system would work:
a set of people participating to a conference hosted in an hotel, become free at the same time, e.g. for a brake, and each of them wishes to reach their respective rooms, located on the different hotel's floors
they all show up in the elevators' area of the lobby (or of the floor where the conference is held)
in order to leverage the "intelligent elevator booking" they're all invited to swipe their room key thru new card readers which will be available at any place where the elevator booking buttons (up/down arrows) are available alternatively, if room keys are equipped with wireless identification technologies (e.g. RFID) they're aut...