Lifts can be found in three varieties. One being the Scissor Lift, which is blue and extends averagely. The second is the Construction Lift, which extends very high, making it a good choice when hiding from police. The third is only found inside Blume Headquarters in Pawnee, and is called the Loading Dock Lift.
Lifts are mostly used to reach places that cannot be reached by climbing, or to do so quicker (i.e. CTOS Breaches). They are also used to get down from heights that would otherwise kill Aiden from fall damage (used when restoring power to the Bunker). Players can use Construction Lifts to hide from the police (It is essential to have the Disable Helicopter skill).
Watch Dogs 2
In Watch Dogs 2, lifts are known as scissor lifts and work a bit differently than in the original Watch Dogs. While in the first game they can only go all the way up or all the way down, in the second game they are more remotely controllable; lifts can not only go up or down freely, but can also be driven forwards, backwards, and steered left-to-right like a vehicle. They even have a horn like regular vehicles.