Automatic Gate: Tech Advancements for More Safety

In Features by Raymond Jackson

Automatic Gate Technology

Automatic gate technology has experienced huge advancements. Almost all improvements have been to upgrade reliability and safety. And not in that order. If you want to know how and why I encourage you to keep reading.

In the past, the designs of safety mechanisms have acted as add-ons for existing gate structures. This allows gates to move in a flexible fashion.

Gates Work Whether They’re

  • Sliding,
  • Swinging,
  • Rolling up and down, or
  • Moving independently of the safety mechanism.

That is to say that even if the safety mechanism was deemed “disabled,” the structure would work no matter what.

Now, the safety mechanisms are a required component in all automatic gate systems. Today’s automatic gate system installation process requires communication with the required safety devices. This means that if a safety device stops working for whatever reason, the gate will not work. So, instead of two separate systems, these technologies have to both be functioning at the same time to work. This is an amazing accomplishment. It’s an incredible step forward to make sure that your automatic gate is going to stay open. That is unless the safety mechanisms aren’t working as they should.

Increased Reliability in Gate Technology

Additionally, reliability is a huge component of recent changes. With the help of IP connectivity, an automatic gate now has the ability to communicate details to owners. This feature provides information about your gate’s activity. You will know if your automatic gate is opening a thousand times a month, a hundred times a month, or 10,000 times a month.

Another huge perk of increased reliability is for maintenance purposes. As I’m sure you know, gate operators reach out to the servicing companies or the owner in regards to the duty cycle. This is because much of the maintenance required is based on use. An example is replacing bearings after every 50,000 uses. This is the beauty of receiving real-world data. You will no longer have to make a “Kentucky windage” guess about how much these gates are being used. That gives you empirical information about when you should be performing preventive maintenance. It’s also useful for getting error information if there’s a malfunction.

Handling Malfunctions

If there’s a malfunction, today’s automated gate systems will notify the servicing dealer. Thus allowing them to download the gate’s information via their laptop. This could contain vital information such as the triggering of a safety device. Or, if there was a history of gate impact. For example, say a vehicle struck a gate. That data is in the storage data of the automatic gate. So, you can access that data to get a clear idea of what happened. I’m sure you would prefer this instead of hearing some story from the vehicle owner that says, “This gate hit my car.” When the reality of it is, is that the car hit a moving automatic gate or hit a gate that was stationary.

The Gate Technology Market: Meet Your New Best Friend

There lies untapped potential for integration dealers to use Headlight Stickers. Because you set up an automatic gate system with one intention. And that’s to get the right vehicles into the right facility at the right time. In support of that idea, you would like a technology that has the ability to:

  • Identify vehicles,
  • Provide directionality, and
  • Give you some range control.

These are features only long-range vehicular RFID Headlight Sticker technology can provide.

Automatic Gate

So if you are an automatic gate dealer and you’re thinking, “How can I get the right cars into the right facility?” then this ideal for you. Again, instead of having to set up a large RFID reader.

Instead, think about a 14-inch by 14-inch square reader. 8-feet in height, aiming down at oncoming vehicles. Needless to say, a very imposing sort of structure. From a candid viewpoint, we both know customers invest money and energy into making their gates beautiful. They want them to be appealing to the eyes to encourage new business. The more people that want to live there, the more money they will make. And trust me, the first thing residents judge a living community on, is their arrival. Moreover, to say to a person who pays well to live in a community. That they have to pull up to that gate and look at a hideous structure, that’s a stretch.

Why Design Matters in Gate Technology

Headlight Stickers give you the ability to reduce antenna size to 9 inches by 9 inches. As well as the benefit of lowering said reader to the level of the Headlight Sticker. Thus, making the community beautiful from an architectural perspective. This means that the residents won’t even notice the adjacent RFID reader.

Imagine you pull up to those beautiful gates. To your joy, you receive a welcome from a safe and modern automatic gate system. Those gates open and invite you in without the need for any driver interaction. You don’t have to find a clicker, roll your window down, or hang your arm out in the rain. As you pull up you get welcomed home by a gate system that’s safe, automatic and reliable. That’s what Headlight Stickers does best for automatic gate dealers.

The Environment

There are a few environmental factors concerning automatic gate system maintenance. There are areas around the world that experience large amounts of rain. How is this relevant you may ask? This is because parts of the safety mechanisms are magnetic loops. These loops are four-foot by eight-foot rectangles tasked with detecting oncoming vehicles. They’re hidden underneath the asphalt, pavement, and cobblestones.

Now, those loops are an integral part of the safety mechanism of a gate. If you happen to live in a part of the world that has heavy rain or debris flow the ground loops will detect the precipitation as an oncoming vehicle. And when that happens that can result in unexpected gate openings. So think about this scenario. A vehicle arrives at a gate. The Headlight Sticker talks to the headlight reader. Which in turn talks to the managed access control solution. Resulting in open gates allowing the car to proceed home.

Gate Technology Vs. Mother Nature

The main problem is that because there’s water flowing in the gutters. And the gutters are close to the loops, that gate is going to stay open, detecting that flowing water as a vehicle. So when I pull up and I see that gate already in the open position. It’s easy to come to the conclusion that there’s a malfunction. A normal resident would alert the property manager or the property owner of this. Which is unnecessary because that’s not the reality at all. In fact, the safety mechanisms are performing exactly as designed. This occurs due to the location of the inductive loops. Moreover, there’s considerable thought needed when it comes to gate entry and weather.


Another mechanism to think about is photo-beams. Now, there are two fundamental types of photo-beams in automatic gates. There’s the safest type, which transmits a beam and acknowledges the receipt of that beam. The other type is a reflector on one side. So you’ve got a photo beam that transmits and receives on the same side. Now, I’m going to call that less ideal, and I’ll tell you why. Think about a magnificent Cadillac in an opalescent color. When that Cadillac pulls across the front, it’s possible that the photo beam could send that color. With would affect that reflection bouncing back from that reflector. And so that’s why I’m going to classify that as less ideal.

Snow Factors

Now, we’re talking about environmental considerations in gate maintenance. So part of this is to think about snow, rain, and environmental conditions. If you’ve got snow that accumulates in front of that reflector, guess what’s going to happen? That gate is going to stick open. If snow accumulates in any way across the photo-beams. Which again, are transmitting across receipt signals. You’re going to get what’s perceived then as an obstruction in that. This is another instance of a perceived malfunction. When, in fact, the safety mechanisms are operating as intended.