questionsshould elevators be smarter?

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Elevators shouldn't be smarter. People should be smarter.

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shrdlu is the resident elevator mechanic AFAIK. I'm going to bed. Late nights are taking their toll on my logical thinking.

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As a person who used to work on elevators, I have to agree with @ojulius, people need to be smarter

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This would be nice if you had your hands full... but no fun for little kids.

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@woadwarrior: And not so lazy that they can't push a button. And expect an elevator to read their mind. I guess that's why the stairwells are always so crowded!!

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The elevators at work aren't just smart, they have a wicked sense of humor.

They like to hang around on the first floor waiting for someone to press the up button. But instead of opening up and taking on a passenger, they'll head for the top floor. So you wait patiently for the other elevator to come down, but it's pretty busy. Eventually the second elevator gets down to the first floor but doesn't open up. Because the first elevator got back at the same time and is only going to give you 5 seconds to scramble in before it takes off again.

Daily basis.

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did you know that on most elevators the "door close" button does nothing? it's a control thing

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I'll admit it. I don't get the point of this. Perhaps I've been away from needing to be any place that had an elevator for too long, but I'm not sure I understand the point. Let's just take the first bit of your question. "When on the second floor of a building you push to call for a down elevator, should the floor 1 light automatically be engaged?"

What "floor 1 light" are you talking about, and what's the purpose of this light? Are you asking if the elevator should know that your one floor up, and the only place you could possibly want to go is down to the first floor? Why can't the elevator just put up a sign that tells you to use the stairs? I'd like that one much better.

Okay, okay, I'm actually with the majority here. People should just be smarter.

Oh, and some door close buttons don't do anything, but others do. It depends on the elevator.

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On the other hand, clearly @samstag has sentient elevators. If they just had a voice, they'd tell people only going up (or down) one floor to use the stairs.

An elevator with a voice could also tell you whether your socks matched, or complain bitterly when that one more person squeezed in, crowding everyone, and making the doors make that horrid squeal that an overloaded elevator makes.

Sentient elevators. Now that sounds like a good time.

I might also add, friend @falcondeal, that perhaps the person who pushed the down button on the second floor really meant to push the up button, and now that elevator is going to take him to the first floor, and boot him out, making him even further away from the chosen destination.

Another use for stairs. They're not sentient. At least I don't think they are.

[Edit] Argh. There's a typo in my previous comment, and it's too late to change it. Not "your one floor up" but "you're one floor up" (crappity crap).

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The doors on the elevator in my building close in a very self-satisfied way

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Since it appears most people are concerned with why isn't the person using the stairs, well what if the person is in a wheelchair or has a dolly full of items and their mobility and hand functions are limited? I guess I should have explained better in the original question.

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No, what if the button pusher never gets on. Now the elevator takes an unneeded trip to the 1st floor.

My favorite uninformed elevator thing is when a person on floor 2 sees the elevator is on floor 3 and would like to go to floor 3 they push the down button, because they are 'telling the elevator to come down'. Then they complain when the door opens back up for the person (me) who pushed the up button, because the elevator never went down so is now picking up the people who wanted to go up.
This happens more then you know. I used to work at a hospital.

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@falcondeal: I think you're misunderstanding the responses. Mine was certainly made tongue in cheek, as were most others. Really, though, your suggestion would actually be inefficient, for some of the reasons I named (including pushing the wrong button by accident). If someone in a wheelchair gets on an elevator and can't push the button for the floor they want, they'll already have someone with them to take care of all those other things that they also cannot do (not saying this in a flippant manner, just being realistic).

I think most people are pointing out that your solution is superficial (sorry that word's so semantically overloaded). That is to say, it solves one problem, but causes many others. On the other hand, I think you're overlooking the kindness of providing an interesting question where people could just have a little fun, and not get angry or unhappy at other comments (yesterday was a TOUGH day for the Deals AtC side).

:-D

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No. This adds complexity (and therefore risk) for minimal gain.

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My building has "smart" elevators in a different sense, using the "destination dispatch" system:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destination_dispatch

Cool idea, and I guess it works in theory, but (and this is surely just a mental thing) it feels SO inefficient.