The standard aims to determine ride quality by specifying the definition, measurement, processing and expression of vibration and noise signals that affect a user’s experience. It consists of two parts:

Christian de Mas Latrie, Chair of the ISO technical committee that developed the standard, says, “Different lifts, escalators or moving walks might strike us as more jerky or noisy, affecting our comfort. By harmonizing methods for acquiring and quantifying the signals that define ride quality, ISO 18738 will ensure that measurement results are comparable everywhere. In this way, the standard will help industry to provide an ideal ride every time.”

Industry can use ISO 18738 to understand passenger experience because it provides measurements that correspond to what users perceive, for example, by taking into account factors such as the acoustic characteristics of the immediate environment.

Mr. de Mas Latrie adds, “It’s interesting to note that the previous edition of the standard (2003) which only looked at lift ride quality, was applied by NASA in 2010. They consulted it when calculating the optimal rate of acceleration of the Phoenix capsule used to rescue the 33 Chilean miners, in order to ensure its smooth ascent and avoid discomfort.”

Implementation of ISO 18738 will result in measurements that are:

  • Simple to understand without specialized knowledge
  • Match well with human response
  • Accountable via calibration procedures traceable to national standards

The standard can be used by those interested in:

  • Developing manufacturing specifications and calibration methods
  • Defining specifications for ride quality in contracts
  • Measuring ride quality of lifts, escalators and moving walks

ISO 18738-1:2012, Measurement of ride quality - Part 1: Lifts (elevators), and

ISO 18738-2:2012, Measurement of ride quality - Part 2: Escalators and moving walks, were developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 178, Lifts, escalators and moving walks. They cost respectively 92 and 86 Swiss francs and are available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication and Information department.