A winter storm led to the closure of miles of busy Interstate 95 in Virginia on Monday, leaving scores of motorists stranded in their vehicles for hours on end. 

Andy Alden, a senior research associate in the Division of Freight, Transit, & Heavy Vehicle Safety at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, is available for interview to discuss weather-related congestion, how freight traffic plays a role, and how connected and automated vehicles, sensors, and new technology might help alleviate situations like this in the future — especially as climate change brings new issues.

Alden’s current work focuses on a wide range of topics that include highway freight safety and efficiency, low-speed autonomous vehicles, road weather safety, animal-vehicle conflict mitigation, bus transit efficiency, adverse road salt environmental impacts, and unmanned aircraft system (i.e., drone) applications in support of ground transportation.

He serves on numerous national and state committees and panels, most notably: the National Academies Transportation Research Board (TRB), the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), and the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

Alden has experience doing interviews in several areas. Suggested topics he can speak to related to this event include:

- How connected and automated vehicles, sensors, and other technologies might alleviate this type of incident in the future

- The role of drones now and in the future: whether in assessing weather conditions on highways, delivering medication and fuel to stranded drivers, and more

- The research the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute conducts relevant to highway congestion, freight traffic, developing technologies, and weather-related incidents like this

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is home to the Virginia Smart Roads and other world-class research facilities.

Schedule an interview

To schedule an interview, contact Jordan Fifer at jordanfifer@vt.edu or 540-231-6997. B-roll and other multimedia assets are available for use.

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