The Otis Elevator Company is the world's largest manufacturer of vertical transportation systems today, principally focusing on elevatorsand escalators.  Founded in Yonkers, New York, United States in 1853 by Elisha Otis, the company pioneered the development of the safety elevator, invented by Otis in 1852, which used a special mechanism to lock the elevator car in place should the hoisting ropes fail.
Otis has installed elevators in some of the world's most famous structures, including the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, World Trade Center, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Petronas Twin Towers, Burj Khalifa, CN Tower, the Hotel del Coronado, and the Skylon Tower.
Statistically, Otis is the world's most popular transportation company. It is estimated that the equivalent of the world's population travel in Otis elevators, escalators and moving walkways every three days. According to United Technologies, Otis elevators carry the equivalent of the world's population every nine days. Otis elevator in Glasgow, Scotland, imported from the U.S. in 1856 for Gardner's Warehouse, the oldest cast-iron fronted building in the British Isles.Otis was acquired by United Technologies in 1976 and is a wholly owned subsidiary. The company has over 61,000 employees, with 2007 revenue of US$11.885 billion. The company headquarters are located in Farmington, Connecticut.
Otis has also dabbled in horizontal automated people-mover "shuttle" systems, such as the Otis Hovair. In 1996, Otis formed a joint venture called Poma-Otis Transportation Systems with the French company Pomagalski to promote these products.
Otis Elevator Company purchased Evans Lifts in the UK. Evans Lifts Ltd. was the oldest and largest manufacturer of lift equipment in the UK and was based in Leicester, England. Otis' Customer Care Centre is still based in the old Evans Lifts building in Leicester. The building has since been extended by Otis.
There are still some installations of Evans Lifts being used today. Notably, an original Evans Lift is still in the Silver Arcade in Leicester. It formerly transported people to the upper floors, but the upper floors are no longer occupied so the lift is no longer used.
Otis entered the machine-room-less market with the introduction of the Gen2 elevator system. Otis designed a technology system that employs flat polyurethane-coated steel belts that replace the heavy, woven steel cables which have remained the industry standard since the late 19th century. The belts are approximately 3 mm (0.1 inch) thick and allow for a smaller sheave than conventional elevators. Together with a redesigned machine, this allows the machine to be mounted within the hoistway itself. The Gen2 elevator is Otis' machine-room-less competitor to the Mitsubishi Elenessa; Kone EcoDisc; Schindler 400A and 3300; ThyssenKrupp Synergy; and Fujitec Talon.