In recent years, we’ve seen remarkable improvements in elevator technology—from faster speeds to more efficient energy use. But one technology that is no longer found in modern elevator systems are the so-called “non-stop elevators.” These older systems allowed the elevator to travel directly from floor to floor without any stops in between, making them incredibly efficient…but why are they no longer seen today?

The answer comes down to safety. While non-stop elevators may have made elevators faster, they didn’t come with safeguards that could prevent them from crashing into the top or bottom of the elevator shaft. This could lead to a number of dangerous and even potentially deadly situations. Elevators today are designed with safety features such as digital limit switches and emergency stop buttons to prevent these types of accidents.

For elevator maintenance crews, these safety features offer a number of benefits. If a malfunction occurs on one floor, they can isolate the malfunction and safely limit the elevator’s movement to that floor rather than risking a catastrophic crash. This allows them to safely inspect and repair the issue without bringing the entire elevator system to a halt, thus reducing disruption to others.

While non-stop technology may remain a curiosity for future generations, it’s clear why safety concerns have limited its use in today’s elevator systems. While the older technology may have improved efficiency, it also posed an unacceptably high risk to both elevator passengers and maintenance crews who work with them.