From the moment Elisha Otis sold the world’s first safety elevator in 1853, the company that bears his name has been shaping cities and moving people. We make, we build, we innovate. Each day Otis transports an estimated 2 billion people through a world of ever-taller buildings, busy metros and well-traveled airports. We do so with the comfort and well-being of our passengers always in mind. Now, in an era defined by the Internet of Things, we are inventing a new generation of elevators that are smarter, more comfortable, more effective, data rich and more connected.
Judith F. Marks
The world’s leading manufacturer and service provider of elevators, escalators and moving walkways.
*See page 69 in the Annual Report PDF for additional information regarding these non-GAAP financial measures.
Inspired by traditional Korean art forms, the Lotte World Tower redefined the Seoul skyline and set records when it opened in 2017. It is South Korea’s tallest building and home to the world’s highest glass-bottomed observatory. It also features one of the world’s fastest double-deck elevators—engineered by Otis. Passengers are whisked to the observation deck on the 121st floor in just 60 seconds—at a speed of 10 meters per second, or more than 20 miles per hour.
Thirty years ago, Otis pioneered the use of remote monitoring to improve customer service. Now Otis is building a powerful digital ecosystem to provide customers with even more personalized care. Maintenance history, account details and other data will be managed in real time and tied to smartphone apps used by field mechanics. Instead of receiving a service call and arriving with no information, mechanics will be notified in advance about an issue and the parts needed. Even better, health-monitoring technology and data analytics will help predict and prevent shutdowns.
Shanghai’s futuristic Oriental Pearl Tower featured the latest in Otis technology when it opened in 1994, including China’s first double-deck elevator and a custom-designed circular glass cab. Now, to accommodate the estimated 5 million annual visitors to the tower, Otis is increasing elevator capacity by nearly one-third, replacing single elevators with double-deck units and increasing their speed. Oriental Pearl stood as China’s tallest structure until 2007, when it was surpassed by the nearby Shanghai World Financial Center, another Otis project. In the United States, Otis is installing smart dispatching technology in Chicago’s Willis Tower, once the world’s tallest building. The new technology will allow passengers to use their smartphones to summon an elevator. It will also get them to their destination faster and with fewer stops.
When completed, the towers of Oceanwide Center will take their place among the buildings that define San Francisco's skyline—with the taller of the two rising higher than the landmark Transamerica Pyramid. Otis worked with the customer to design a cutting-edge elevator system that will make Oceanwide more livable by eliminating a challenge common to high-rise buildings. Built on Otis’ CompassPlus dispatching technology, the system will adapt to changing traffic patterns throughout the day and allow passengers to travel between the upper and lower floors without having to return to the lobby or inconvenient transfer floors.
A company built on innovation, Otis is responsible for a string of technological breakthroughs that continue to define the industry it created. Now Otis is reinventing itself as a digital industrial company to meet the changing needs of customers in a hyper-connected world. Otis is focusing its R&D activities on areas like data analytics, intelligent machines and other technologies enabled by the Internet of Things. Otis is also collaborating with United Technologies’ new digital accelerator and partners like Microsoft to pioneer the next generation of products and services.
Otis employees are enthusiastic advocates of Green Shoots, a major corporate responsibility program of United Technologies. Our aim is to improve children’s learning environments and teach the importance of sustainability. During the year, Otis volunteers took Green Shoots to a child care center in South Korea and a Ronald McDonald house in Tokyo. A strong proponent of safety, Otis has also provided elevator safety training to some 15,000 children worldwide.