E-ZPass Turns 20

by Ann Pierret
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Driving in New York City

ehpien, flickr

A Brooklyn native may be responsible for the EZPass we've used for the past two decades.

Saturday marks 20 years since E-ZPass forever changed toll roads in the region.  And it appears a Brooklyn native may be the one responsible for the technology that allows us to zip through tolls today. 
 
Mario Cardullo, said he created the RFID-TAG, the Radio-Frequency Identification Transponder in the late 1960's.  Pretty much the pre-cursor to modern day E-ZPass technology.
 
Cardullo said he and his start-up company, Communications Services Corporation, brought the idea to the New York Port Authority in 1971, but they weren't so keen on the idea at that time. 
 
"We showed them on the GW Bridge how you can add and subtract tolls, and you know what they told me? 'Nobody will ever put that on the window of their car,'" he said. 
 
Cardullo received a patent in 1973, but never did anything else with the RFID-TAG.  It wasn't until 1993, that toll facilities in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania started using E-ZPass, with technology Cardullo says is very similar to his early invention. But, does that bother him?...not so much...
 
"I don't go back I go forward," Cardullo explained. 
 
With 4 patents under his belt and a possible 8 more on the way, the 78-year-old Cardullo says he still keeps his notebook on him at all times.  

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