Jaguar Land Rover has presented a bespoke version of the new Land Rover Discovery at the Geneva Motor Show – designed and engineered by its Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) – for use by the Austrian Red Cross, known as ‘Project Hero’.

Project Hero, based on the 3.0-litre TD6 engine-powered version of the new Land Rover Discovery, 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 world’s largest humanitarian network.

SVO collaborated with the Austrian Red Cross to develop a unique Land Rover that will be trialled by their emergency response teams, which it hopes will help the Red Cross save lives by speeding up response times to disasters.

Land Rover has supplied 120 vehicles to the IFRC to date for deployment all over the world, but Project Hero is the first with a roof-mounted drone, equipped with a fully integrated landing system featuring self-centring and magnetic retention technology which enables the drone to land on Project Hero when the vehicle is in motion.

With the drone airborne, live footage can be transmitted to the Red Cross’s emergency response teams, helping them respond more quickly and effectively to landslides, earthquakes, floods and avalanches, and allowing rescuers to investigate an emergency scene from a safe distance.

Besides drone technology, the rear of the interior also features a heavy-duty sliding floor in the rear load space, which may be deployed as an addition work surface, or to protect the load carried underneath, segregation panel behind the rear seats providing additional equipment mounting points, strategically positioned LED lighting to aid night vision and power supply points which accept multiple plug arrangements from different regions.

Project is also equipped with multiple frequency radio equipment enabling contact to be made in a variety of situations.

It 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 used in simulations to develop new and innovative 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 when the Red Cross provides emergency support at times of natural disasters, such as heavy snow or floods, or accidents.


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