Elevator Wiki

Otis Autotronic (also known as AUTOTRONIC Elevatoring) was an automatic programmed elevator system introduced by Otis in 1948 for intensive elevator group operation. The word Autotronic was taken from the word "automatic" and "electronic". There is also the Autotronic Unlimited elevator system. Not much is known about it, but it is known to exist in 1964-1968.


Otis Autotronic elevator was the first elevator to consider traffic patterns and peak times. It was designed to "think", and operated automatically and electronically as a coordinated group. Unlike previous automated models, these elevators were large, fast, and could change speeds and adjust their schedules to suit traffic demands, bypassing floors when fully loaded, and prevents long waiting. The attendant simply registers floor calls and initiates door closing. These elevators were also capable of launching themselves to wherever they were needed, based on time of day and anticipated traffic patterns. They also included electronic door sensors in the 1950s that could detect a person so they would not close on them[1]. Otis Elevoice, a voice, was an option. The Otis Autotronic was also a popular elevator system for high-rise buildings during the 1950s, as it could save building operation up to $7,000 a car each year.

Autotronic also featured a "nudge" function if a car was held at a floor for an excessive period of time through either the "door open" button being held down, or the door sensors being blocked. The nudge function was a way of encouraging the users to stop delaying the car, by slowly closing the doors at a reduced speed, accompanied by the sounding of an intermittent buzzer, whilst the floor indicator for that floor would flash[2].

Most Otis Autotronic elevators only have hall lanterns for intermediate and terminal floors. For the main/lobby floor, a floor annunciator panel and an illuminating "THIS CAR UP" lantern are usually present.

The first Autotronic system was installed in the Atlantic Refining Company Building in Dallas, Texas in 1950 and was the first to feature the first high speed operator-less elevators in the whole world.


Further information: Otis Elevator Fixtures Guide (American)#Touch_sensitive_buttons

Most Autoronic elevators from the 1950s to early 1980s were using square Lexan touch-sensitive buttons which used electronic tube behind them. Otis called them "electronic touch buttons". However, due to a fire hazard claim, these fixtures on existing Autotronic elevators today are being replaced with newer ADA-compliant fixtures.

Before the introduction of touch-sensitive fixtures, early Autotronic elevators used pop-out buttons similar to the ones used on early Westinghouse Selectomatic elevators. The buttons latched in when pressed, and remained as such until the car reached its highest, (or lowest level) before reversing, at which point all buttons would pop out again. The pop-out buttons allows the elevator user to cancel car calls by manually pulling the button back out.

Notable installations



  • The Tower Hotel (Minolta Tower), Niagara Falls, Ontario
  • 136 Edward St., Toronto, Ontario
  • Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto, Ontario (Modernized by Otis in the Late 80s or Early 90s)


  • 505 2nd St., Calgary, Alberta


  • 1155 Robert Bourassa Boulevard/University Street, Montreal, Quebec
  • Old Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Quebec
  • Place Ville Marie, Montreal, Quebec (Modernized in 1992 by KONE)
  • Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, Quebec (Modernized by Otis in the Early 90s and again in 2017)
  • 550 Sherbrooke West, Montreal, Quebec (Modernized in the 80s by Otis with Elevonic 401)


  • Central Pacific, Hong Kong (1964)
  • Unicorn Trade Centre, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (1964, modernized)


  • Peninsula Excelsior Hotel, Excelsior Tower, Singapore (1984, modernized by Otis in 2010)
  • Far East Shopping Centre, Singapore (1974, modernized by Otis in the 1990s or 2000s, and modernized by Otis in 2018 to 2019)
  • Peninsula Plaza, Singapore (1980, modernized by Otis in the 1990s or 2000s, modernized by KONE from 2019 to 2021)
  • Orchard Hotel, Singapore (1980, modernized by KONE in 2004)
  • OCBC Centre (1976, modernized by Otis in 1990s or 2000s, refurbished in late 2000s or early 2010s by Otis, modernized by Schindler from 2020 to 2023)

United States of America


  • 140 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA (modernized from Otis Signal Control elevators)
  • 555 California, San Francisco, CA


  • Cygnet Building, Colorado Springs, CO
  • FirstBank Tower, Colorado Springs, CO
  • 621 17th Street, Denver, CO


  • 401 Lincoln Road, Miami, FL
  • The Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach, FL

New Mexico

  • Bank of the West Tower (outside downtown), Albuquerque, NM (modernized by US Elevator with Epco fixtures in the 1990s)
  • 500 North Main Street, Roswell, NM

New York

  • Sibley Tower, Rochester, NY (All except the Atrium Bank modernized by Otis in 2017)
  • United Nations Secretary Building, New York City, NY
  • 100 Park Avenue, New York City, NY
  • Erastus Corning Tower, Albany, NY (Modernized by Otis in 2015-2018)

North Carolina

  • Sheraton Hotel (formerly Blake Hotel), Charlotte, NC
  • Ivey Building, Charlotte, NC


  • Schofield Building, Cleveland, OH
  • Ameritrust Tower, Cleveland, OH
  • Midland Building, Cleveland, OH
  • City Club Building, Cleveland, OH
  • Erieview Tower, Cleveland, OH
  • Huntington Building, Cleveland, OH
  • Landmark Office Towers, Cleveland, OH


  • Frick Building, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Investment Building, Pittsburgh, PA (Several elevator cars were decommissioned and the rest of the cars have been modernized by Hadfield Elevator Co. in 2019)
  • Macy's (formerly Kaufmann's), Pittsburgh, PA (Building has since been completely remodeled and all of the Autotronic elevators have been removed)
  • Oliver Building, Pittsburgh, PA (Since been modernized with Otis Compass in 2016)
  • Learning Research Development Center, University of Pittsburgh, Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA


  • Nix Hospital, San Antonio, TX
  • 300 East Main Street, El Paso, TX
  • The Statler Hotel, Dallas, TX
  • Salazar Center, Dallas, TX

Other states

  • Macy's, Chicago, IL
  • Robert E Lee Building, Jackson, MS
  • Harrah's West Tower, Reno, NV
  • Sheraton Hotel North Tower, Boston, MA (1964, modernized by Westinghouse in the 1980s and again by ThyssenKrupp in the 2010s)
  • Starks Building, Louisville, KY
  • The Time & Temperature Building, Portland, ME
  • Baker Building, Minneapolis, MN
  • Desoto Hotel, Savannah, GA (Modernized by Otis in 2019)
  • Regions Tower, Indianapolis, IN (Modernized by Otis in 2017-2018)





AMAZING Otis Autotronic elevator @ Sibleys Tower Rochester NY

Otis Autotronic elevators in Sibley Tower, Rochester, NY (video: Dieselducy).


VINTAGE 1960s Otis Touch Sensitive Traction Elevators @ 500 N. Main St. Roswell, NM

Otis Autotronic elevators at the Bank of America building in Roswell, NM (video: CubsRule2040)


Old Otis Autotronic Elevator @ Macy's Pittsburgh PA

Otis Autotronic elevators in Macy's Pittsburgh PA (video: Dieselducy).


Electronic Automatic Control of Elevator Traffic "Skylines Unlimited" 1950 Otis Elevator Co.

1950s Otis Autotronic promotional video.

Notes and references

External links