While reviewing content on our Web site recently, I visited the RFID Basics page where we use an example of a car passing through a toll booth to describe how RFID works. It is a great example because you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t driven through a Fast Lane, EZ-Pass, or other electronic toll collection system. Does anyone know when the first RFID-enabled toll booth was deployed in the United States? We’ll give you the answer in a bit.
An often reported benefit of RFID is that you can leverage it for a project, process, or procedure, and it ends up providing value beyond what it was originally intended for. Even back when it was first introduced for toll roads, other than making the driver’s life easier, this RFID-enabled system helped states increase revenue and allowed law enforcement to set up more accurate notifications in Amber Alert or stolen car situations.
Taking the convenience factor even further, because of RFID, many highways now have no toll booths. Not because they aren’t collecting tolls, but because they have implemented RFID in such a way that the tags attached to car windshields can be read at high speeds and with excellent accuracy. No big, cumbersome collection booths required.
Coincidentally, at the time of writing this post, I saw the following headline: India's first RFID technology toll comes up near Chandigarh. According to the article, India's first RFID-based toll plaza was recently inaugurated on National Highway No.5 at Chandimandir in Haryana's Panchkula district. The anticipated benefits are many: seamless travel, time and fuel savings, and a reduction in traffic jams. My guess is they will realize other benefits along the way as well.
Now back to our quiz. The first RFID-enabled toll booth was deployed in Dallas in 1989. Were you close?