Self-driving cars to begin with will most likely be pretty similar to regular cars. You can imagine that many to adopt the technology early will own two cars with one of the cars in their garage being self-driving while the other is of the more traditional variety. This means that in the early days nothing will really change. People will be in their cars when they are driven off and so will be able to handle the tough task of opening their garage door themselves before settling in to a leisurely drive to work while they read the paper. Or at least something similar will happen, maybe people will be working from their car’s in these newly open bits of time. However, it is most likely that those first few things like a garage door may be taken car of by the driver just like fastening a seatbelt and closing car doors would be. It just may not make enough sense to work that kind of thing into the self-driving cars yet because they are still rather finicky to begin with.
Next what might happen is you begin seeing cars without drivers. You’ll see garage doors open by themselves and cars drive out. You’ll see garage doors open and cars drive in. At this point we will have the lion’s share of the kinks worked out and opening and closing garage doors will hopefully be moved from the remote and be something that is done securely between the car and your garage door. It will take a bit to make sure that this sort of connection is secure enough to take the control out of a person’s hands, but hopefully we will get there. With the “internet of things” era fast approaching your garage door opener will most likely be linked to the internet giving you access to it’s goings on even if you aren’t home or within the traditional radio distance that most garage door remotes rely on these days. Your smart phone may even give you the ability to circumvent having the garage door opener be programmed into your car and allow you to be prodded anytime your garage door needs to be opened. It may not be the most convenient thing, but you will also be getting a car to pick you up whenever you need it so you won’t be complaining.
Finally it will most likely someday come to pass that regular old cars really aren’t that common. People will be zipping about someday in cars that can be at their doorstep at the touch of a button. It’s tough to think of what that world might look like but since it will be coming maybe in less than a century maybe more garages and garage doors will likely still be here. They may not be serving the same purpose, but garages and garage doors serve more purpose than simply protecting your car from things like rough weather and theft. They also keep your home safe from the same. Garages are so flexible that it is likely that the garage may outlast the car.
If you know anything about the history of the garage you will know that they started as carriage houses, which is where the look of carriage garage doors come from. That means that the garage was really something that came before the car. Moving the garage to the side of the house was something that likely is a result of the rise of the automobile and the change over from smelly horses, but the similarities are still there. Garages will keep self-driving cars in them safe for a while as people will most likely need their own cars or at least one car for a long time and the garages will still be able to serve that purpose.
The almost scary truth of self-driving cars is very likely a few years or short decades a way, with rumors and news articles pointing to sooner rather than later. The thing is however that these things, especially with how expensive they are bound to be, are not going to take over our roads and garages overnight. The process will be slow and gradual and will likely take a number of years even decades. It is tough to say exactly what type of changes will happen because of it but in most cases it seems like our lives may just be a bit easier and more convenient. We may use public transit less, we may move away from cities, or things may stay very much the same. One thing that is almost certain not to change anytime soon though is the popularity of the garage.