Speed gates, or automatic flaps that open and close upon passing individuals, are still in strong demand as a protection measure for passengers and employees. A recent study shows a near 7 percent growth over the next five years.Speed gates, or automatic flaps that open and close upon passing individuals, are still in strong demand as a protection measure for passengers and employees. A recent study shows a near 7 percent growth over the next five years.
When speaking of access control, people often associate it with access control credentials, from cards to mobile phones, and their respective readers. However, pedestrian- and/or vehicle-control equipment is also a critical element of access control. Examples include bollards – rows of columns that can stop vehicles or trucks going at as much as 80 kilometers per hour. Parking barriers that go up and down to let vehicles in and out are also examples.
Then there are turnstiles and speed gates deployed at a variety of venues, from offices to metro stations and airports. In particular, speed gates, due to their protective role as well as various value-added features, are in strong demand. According to estimates by IHS Markit, the market revenues from the sales of new speed gate equipment is forecast to reach US$500 million by 2023, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9 percent.
The market research firm identified several growth drivers, which are summarized as follows.
Workplace violence prevention
According to IHS Markit, active shooter events in North America and terrorist attacks in Europe have forced building managers to re-think security measures. “These tragic events are driving increased adoption of building entrance control in the office industry. Traditionally, speed gates were only installed in the lobbies of main office buildings, but now the demand for speed gate installation in corporate campuses and other multi-building sites has increased,” the market research firm points out.
The Asian metro rail industry
The expanding Asian metro rail industry is also driving speed gate adoption. Shanghai’s metro, for example, is still using turnstiles at most stations, providing room for the growth for speed gates. “Mainland China is implementing its five-year rail expansion plan to which the government budgeted over US$500 billion. Another country with a rapidly expanding metro system is India. India has opened seven metro lines since 2017 and plans to open at least five more through 2023. These developments are driving speed gate market growth in the metro industry,” IHS Markit said.
Demands in U.S.
According to the market research firm, in March 2017 US President Donald Trump signed an executive order demanding facial recognition in airports to track visitors and serve as a passport for residents and citizens. “This technology will be attached to speed gates that will grant or deny access to travelers. It is projected that the system will be used to collect data on the more than 100 million passengers who fly out of the United States each week. Facial recognition will be used at the top 20 US airports by 2021, which means these facilities will need to install a sufficient number of speed gates by 2021,” it said.
The popularity of speed gates also has to do with its various features. Compared to turnstiles, speed gates offer more aesthetics and efficiency. Some models offer passing speed of 25 to 30 people per minute, making them useful especially during work and after-work hours. There are several surface finishing options, from wood, stone to stainless steel, to choose from, allowing the product to blend naturally into the end user’s work environment. Further, more and more security features have become available, for example sensors that can detect piggybacking or tailgating. Recently, AI features have been included to identify, for example, whether an object is a person or a luggage.