Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) unit has created a version of the Land Rover Discovery SUV that includes a roof-mounted drone, which will be trialed by the Austrian Red Cross for emergency response.
“Project Hero” is an advanced communication vehicle created to support Jaguar Land Rover’s partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The goal is to help the Red Cross save lives by speeding up response times to disasters, says the vehicle manufacturer.
Jaguar Land Rover says it has supported the Red Cross since 1954 and has supplied 120 vehicles to the IFRC for deployment in all corners of the globe. However, Project Hero is the first with a roof-mounted drone.
A fully integrated landing system featuring self-centering and magnetic-retention technology enables the aircraft to land on Project Hero when the vehicle is in motion, explains the SVO. Project Hero is based on the 3.0-liter, TD6-engine-powered version of the new Land Rover Discovery.
When the drone is airborne, live footage can be transmitted to the Red Cross’s emergency response teams – in turn, helping them respond more quickly and effectively to disasters such as landslides, earthquakes, floods and avalanches. In addition, the drone’s bird’s-eye view will allow rescuers to investigate an emergency scene from a safe distance.“Land Rover and the team of engineers and designers at SVO are proud to support the incredible humanitarian work of the IFRC and its members,” comments John Edwards, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO. “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.”
Starting in June, Project Hero will be based for 12 months at the Austrian Red Cross training center in Erzberg, located in the mountainous Eisenerz mining area, and in Vienna.
The aircraft will be used in simulations to develop new techniques for disaster relief and on test runs for complex natural-disaster scenarios, including at night and in dense forests.
“We are grateful to Land Rover for their generous support over the past 60 years and are proud of our ambitious global partnership that has transformed the lives of millions of people on four continents,” states Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, the IFRC’s under secretary general for partnerships.
“The partnership is supporting communities around the world to become more resilient in the face of natural disasters such as monsoons, flooding and earthquakes,” she continues. “Project Hero combines the best expertise of the Red Cross and Jaguar Land Rover to create a truly unique vehicle, which we hope will be capable of making a difference to rescue operations in the toughest environments.”