The Evolution of Automatic Gates


June 21, 2022

When you think of gate automation, what comes to mind? For many people, the first thing that comes to mind is automatic gates that open and close at the press of a button. But gate automation has come a long way in recent years, and there are now a variety of different types of automated gates available on the market. In this blog post, we’ll dive into a brief history of automatic gates, how they have evolved in recent years, and explore some of the new developments in access control systems available today.

A Brief History

When were automatic doors invented? If you are a gate or door enthusiast, you may already know the answer to this question, but for those looking for a fun fact, they were invented in 1881 and used in Canada to control railway crossings. The invention gained popularity and eventually was adapted for everyday use. The first automatic door was invented in 1931 and installed in a restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut. Placed between the kitchen and the dining room, these doors opened the moment a photoelectric eye detected the signs of a person approaching. Its purpose was to eliminate the need for servers to kick open doors if their hands were full from carrying trays. In 1954, Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt invented the first automatic sliding gate. This is where we’ll start our journey into the evolution of automatic slide gates and how they have evolved to meet the practical uses of the modern consumer.

Modern Gate Automation

Throughout the ages, people have needed to know that their homes and workplaces are safe and protected from harm. This increased need for reliable security led to how we see automatic gates today: as a commonplace staple. Today, automated gates are available in an enormous variety of styles and types. Simple options consist of a solid door controlled by a remote device, while more sophisticated automatic gate systems can be integrated with the home’s smart system. This variety is the result of a lengthy period of engineering development and research.

The Latest Developments in Automatic Gate Access Control

To meet the changing needs and convenience of the modern consumer, engineers looked further into ways to make automatic gates more sophisticated. Below, we’ll outline some of the latest developments in access control and their features:

Slide gates: this type of gate operates on a track using wheels and moves horizontally to close or open. It is the ideal type of gate for properties with space constraints and is safer compared to swing gates.

Speed: gates can be automated to open or close by sliding or swinging. Slide gates are often faster, making them more popular. A recent development in the slide gate market is the introduction of faster motors.

Faster access: faster motors could potentially prevent the risk of an accident from vehicles entering a property at speed. Beyond this practical consideration, people aren’t as used to having to wait extended periods of time to enter or exit a location and the convenience of fast access makes sliding gates a more appealing choice.

Strength: as with any invention, automatic gates continue to grow stronger and more durable over time. You can choose from materials, like aluminum or steel, and add customizable features to reduce the maintenance needed for your automatic gate system.

Affordable: slide gates have become much more cost-effective for anyone who is looking for a modern access control system for their residential or commercial property. Depending on the material, style, and features, prices can vary from $500 to $3,000.

Smart integration: the option to include the automatic gate into the smart system installed in the building so access can be controlled via smartphone or mobile device.


Automatic gates have undoubtedly come a long way since their first introduction in 1881. Today, it’s one of the best ways to easily manage traffic, promote privacy, and increase the security of your home or office, all at your convenience. For industry-leading residential or commercial automated gate systems, contact Access Professional Systems today. We’ll design a high-quality automatic gate solution that fits each of your needs and we can customize the aesthetic of your gate to fit your taste. All of APS’ gate systems comply with safety standards and undergo a series of mandated tests to ensure the safest possible operation of your gate. We are also committed to providing top-tier service to each of our customers and our transparent communication keeps you in the loop every step of the way. For all your security and protection needs, trust Access Professional Systems.


How do you know you’re in good hands with APS? We’ve successfully installed equipment and services in more than 14,500 projects.  Get a free estimate today or call us directly by phone at 853-223-9982 (CA) or 602-737-2081 (AZ).


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