I posted this on my facebook account, but I think it will get a wider audience here. This has been bugging me recently.
At my office, we have an elevator. It only goes between two floors (and they are five flights of stairs apart, so I'm not just being lazy)(Ok, I am a little, but that's not the point).
So I enter the lobby, and push the 'call' button. The door opens and I enter. The door closes. The elevator will just SIT there, not moving, until I tell it to go to the other floor.
Why should I have to push that button? Shouldn't it be obvious where I want to go?
Sure, it may be possible I got in by mistake and want to get out. Or that I didn't make it in, and if it leaves, I'll have to wait for it to go up then come back down...but both of these occur such a small number of times, I would think they'd be irrelevant.
Why can't they design the elevator operation more intelligently?
Do you have any ideas for 'common sense' ways for things to function?
There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
I always thought that with how cheap pcs are these days, it would be trivial to put some kind of analyzer in an elevator. It could log the times a car was called to a floor, where it was then sent, etc.
Eventually, you could work up a use pattern and start to predict where the cars would be needed. In my office, the cars (there are two) should spend most of their time at the 1st floor between 7-9 a.m, since people are arriving, and few are leaving. perhaps between 11:30 and 12:30, they should be near the second floor, as folks start leaving for work, then switch back to the first floor between 12:30 and 1:30, etc.
How hard would that be? It should only add a couple of hundred bucks at most for the hardware, and one pc could easily analyze data for hundreds of cars...
Neurotic: Elevators are quite upset that they are left out of the decision making processes of their buildings and they can't do anything about it. As such, at any time other than when it is carrying people up and down, it is to be found sulking in the basement.
This problem was taken up by Douglas Adams too; Aren't Sirius Cibernectics working on such a thing?
Dim Future Sight: An elevator can see dimly into the future so that it always knows what floor to be on to pick you up before you knew you needed it. As such it is constantly under the effect of a Forsight spell.