Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) has designed and developed a bespoke Land Rover Discovery that will help save lives with its drone technology. The vehicle that was named “Project Hero” was revealed to the global media at the Geneva Motor Show.
Project Hero is a vehicle that has advanced communication capabilities and will support Jaguar Land Rover’s collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world’s largest humanitarian network. SVO joined hands with the Austrian Red Cross to design and come up with a unique Land Rover that will initially be deployed by their emergency response teams. The vehicle will help emergency response teams to save more lives by responding faster in the case of disasters.
Land Rover has supported the Red Cross for 64 years. The company has supplied 120 vehicles to the IFRC and they are used in many countries across the globe. Project Hero is the first vehicle which sports a roof-mounted drone. Other world firsts include a fully integrated landing system having self-centring and magnetic retention technology. This allows the drone to land on the vehicle even when the vehicle is in motion.
The drone further adds to the capabilities of the New Discovery. Using the drone, live footage can be sent to the Red Cross’s emergency response teams, thus allowing them to respond more quickly and effectively to avalanches, landslides, and earthquakes. In the case of such natural disasters, the landscape can change dramatically and it can be extremely difficult to locate and rescue survivors. The 360-degree footage provided by the drone will make it possible for emergency teams to check out the scene of an emergency from a safe distance.
John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, said that Land Rover and the team of engineers and designers at SVO were incredibly proud to support the incredible humanitarian work that the IFRC and its members carry out. He added, “The new Discovery is an outstanding all-terrain SUV, and Project Hero is the optimum combination of enhanced capability and innovative technology. We hope to help the Red Cross save lives in emergency situations.”
Dr Jemilah Mahmood, IFRC Under Secretary General for Partnerships, said that he was grateful to the company for its generous support over the past six decades and the effect this has had on transforming the lives of millions of people on four continents.
He added that Project Hero combined the best expertise of the Red Cross and Jaguar Land Rover to create a truly unique vehicle, which can make a significant difference to rescue operations which are carried out in really tough environments.
Project Hero is a modified version of the 3.0-litre TD6 engine-powered new Land Rover Discovery. Other notable features of Project Hero include:
Project Hero is also installed with multiple frequency radio equipment that facilitates contact in a wide range of situations.
As a pilot project, Project Hero will be based at the Austrian Red Cross training centre in Erzberg, in the mountainous Eisenerz mining area, and in Vienna, for 12 months from June 2017. The drone will be deployed in simulations to come up with new techniques for disaster relief and on test-runs for complex natural disaster scenarios, including at night and in dense forests. Project Hero will also be used in the case of natural disasters like landslides to support emergency rescue operations.
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