Tips on how to make this automation example work?

Well the biggest downside to switching to Hubitat from Wink has been that now that I see how powerful Hubitat is; I want to automate everything lol.

So here's what I'm looking to do: I want to set up a rule / automation to open my garage door when I arrive, but ONLY when I'm coming home on the bike.

I have geofencing set up and in use for some automation already, so that part is handled. I also have the garage door set up using this guide: YouTube

I currently do not have a sensor on the door to know if it's opened or closed, but that's coming this week.

I think I have an idea on how I want it to work, but I'm not sure how to set it all up.

When I leave and come home in a car, I don't want the system to do anything special with the garage door as I have remotes in the cars for that.

However, when I go out on the bikes, I don't have remotes with me and I'd like to be able to have the door open.

I was thinking I could have a button in the garage that I could hit when I'm leaving on a bike that would put the system into a "away-on-bike" mode. Then, when my phone is back inside the geofence, it would trigger the door to open. I'm just not sure if I set it up that way if it'll put the system into a normal "away" mode when my phone leaves the geofence and thus not open the door when I come home.

Is this setup possible? I think I saw an option for the system to avoid certain tasks if it's in a certain mode or condition

You could probably use a virtual button and select/toggle it via dashboard instead of a physical button.

The other option would be to use the Smartthings Arrival Sensor (fob) and attach it to the bike either temporarily (keychain?) or permanently. Product number F-ARR-US-2

I don't want to discourage you, but I personally don't like the idea of the garage automatically opening. I feel it is a security risk. This is not a Hubitat specific fault, just lots of things involved here with presence, apps, GPS, and so on that can go wrong. If you have your phone on you for geofence, why not just open the phone and use the app? This is one time automating things might not be better than a simple remote control in my opinion.


I'm with you on the security aspect, my geofence is set really small and I live on a pretty secluded street but it's still a concern to be sure.

I used to have a system called Flash2Pass on the bikes that was a little module that was triggered by a "double-click" of a switched 12v button on the bike (basically you would flash the high beams twice to activate the remote opener) but my receiver for that stopped working some years ago and then the company went under. Since then, and this is for sure a first-world problem, I've found it a bit annoying getting home on the bike since I used to be able to just ride into the garage and park the bike in its spot without getting off and now I have to get off to open the door and push the bike in lol.

I might end up just wiring a momentary switch on the bike and using an extra remote though if I don't end up automating it, but we'll see where I end up.

Buy a smartthings arrival sensor and attach it to the bike. People have good luck with them. Then you wouldn't have to do anything but enjoy the ride. You could add a second layer and set your phone to use wifi and use a combined presence app to verify that you're home. So your rule would depend on the arrival sensor leaving and coming back as well as your phone connecting to wifi upon your arrival. Just a humble thought. I always hated having to perform a task just to get an automation to work. So I'm always looking for ways to make the house know what I'm doing instead of prompting it.

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Yes, combining presence really does help. And alleviates some of my apprehension for doing this. One source of presence is rarely accurate 100% of the time. Multiple devices is probably close to 100%.

I have it, but I don't use it. I'm apprehensive about letting it open my garage door also. Even though I've automated it. I think, just to say that I did it, maybe? Anywho - I haven't felt comfortable enough to set up a rule that opens on arrival. I do have a rule that unlocks the inside door if I use my code to unlock the outside door. Boy, that is slick. I've used the garage door automation to let someone in the house if the garage lock doesn't work. That's about it.

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Could use a virtual switch, then have your rules based on if that switch is on. Basically the switch being on would be your "away on bike" mode. This way if you use a smartthings sensor as mentioned by @april.brandt, it will only trigger your door when you have that virtual switch on.

I was just thinking that you could use something similar to a beaming device to do the same thing as you described before. There are lots of things that you can do for that instead. I had an idea flash through my noggin' (and anyone that knows me knows I get some pretty unique ideas around here) What about setting up a light sensor (homeseer) and pairing it with a laser pointer to trigger your garage door!? You'd just need to get the color right, I think. You'd have to research the capabilities, but maybe you're in for your first diy home automation project. You could set it up in a window.
(THIS is why I don't sleep at night)


too much vulnerability. unless you make a unique color to use, anyone can shine a laser at the sensor and open your garage

Yah but you'd have to know it was there. You DO realize how tiny the target would be right? What about something IR?

if you're going to use a device, why not just use your phone to trigger a switch to open the garage

That's no fun. You pull up in the driveway on a scoot scoot, your phone is either in your front pants pocket, a saddlebag, or in an inside pocket. Wearing gloves is a possibility due to vibration, so you'd need to pretty much park the bike and get off to get your phone and gloves off to hit the button. Might as well just go unlock the door while you're off and let those vance & hines rattle the neighborhood for a few minutes.

If you use an Android phone, you might be able to get something like this working with the help of Tasker. A very rough approximation of a workflow would be something like:

  • Upon entering geofence, check if phone is paired to car's Bluetooth
  • If yes, do nothing
  • If no, open the garage door (eg. using an Endpoint URL for a Rule Machine rule, or MakerAPI)

Alternatively, a Google/Siri voice command? Can your phone pick up commands while in your pocket/bag/wherever you keep it?

I would use a converted ST sensor on the bike and set an ‘away-on-bike’ mode if both the bike and your phone leave the geofence together.

As the hub is now in this mode you can program a different response to your arrival than if you are ‘away-in car’

I have converted ST sensors in all my cars and on my bike to detect their presence, they have been very reliable for me and the batteries have lasted over two years.
The added bonus for me is that if the cars leave without either me or my wife the house screams at us :slight_smile:
(Especially if it’s after midnight or we are in night mode)


The only problem with the mode is if someone else is in the house and it should be in X mode? So then a another global variable would be better in this case, then the house continues as it would do IE go to away if you the last too leave or stay in day mode if not. But you now have another condition of you have left on your bike to decide the additional things it needs to do when you come home.

Could even use @Cobra presence central to combine your normal presence device with the bikes to do the conditional logic.

In that case I would just use a virtual switch :slight_smile:

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What kind of sensor and conversion?

I use the SmartThings Presence Sensor, converted to use 2x AA batteries
This replaces the coin battery (which lasts a month if you are lucky)

Here is how I did it (A long time ago when I was using ST)


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that's what I have under the seat of my motorbike. Just make sure you build in lots of controls in the logic, could be a contact sensor and a :magnet: on your keys to only run when your keys arnt in place, reason being the ST sensors sometimes drop out for short periods of time and you don't want your rules running when it comes back

Some good ideas in here lol.

Last night I added the WiFi Presence driver to HE and set it up for my phone. Might also pick up one of those ST sensors and set it up so that all three conditions must be met for the door to trigger. WiFi, ST and HE geofence, but still only when X mode is enabled, or I could just set a rule that I manually activate before I leave on the bike and then disable that rule when I get back.

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