For some reason, China is fairly obsessed with zippy elevators. The current record holder, according to Guinness, resides in Taipei and shoots people from floor to floor at up to 38 miles per hour. That's fast enough give you a nose-bleed if you're not careful, but apparently it's not quite good enough for the folks at the still under construction Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre.
There, Hitachi has pitched a new elevator design that will simply blow past the current record-holder. The Finance Centre's elevators will be capable of hitting a max speed of 45 miles per hour. For a bit of perspective, that's fast enough to get you from the lobby to the 95th floor in a scant 43 seconds. It's also about half as fast as being in free fall.
Hitachi's speed demons will be constructed from heat-resistant materials to better handle their workload. The elevators will be finished in 2016, when we'll see if the Japanese electronics company can really deliver an elevator capable of hitting vertical speeds that we're generally more accustomed to dealing with when we're on the road.