Presented to the world’s media for the first time March 7th at the Geneva Motor Show, Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division debuted a new concept for bespoke Discovery designed to serve search and rescue and disaster recovery teams. The vehicle, dubbed “Project Hero,” provides a pairing that could make a real difference in the wilderness. That's the whole idea behind the project.
The Austrian Red Cross collaborated with Land Rover to develop the vehicle and will be first in line to use the use the roof-mounted-drone-equipped 2017 Discovery SUVs. They will be trialed by their disaster response teams.
Nothing was done to improve the Discovery's off-road capabilities, since it's plenty capable as-is, but beyond that, Project Hero is anything but basic. The drone is capable of landing on the Discovery, even when it's in motion, thanks to a self-centering system with magnetic retention. A sliding floor in the cargo area doubles as a work surface, and there's a separate panel behind the rear seats for mounting equipment, and extra power supply points accept power and communications plugs from different regions of the world.
Project Hero's drone will be used to transmit live footage to emergency response teams to help them respond to natural disasters. When maps won't work because of disaster-induced landscape changes, or when survivors might be trapped in an area a car cannot reach, the drone can act as an extension of the vehicle and its support staff. The drone can be controlled by a tablet app.
At the Austrian Red Cross' training center, Hero will be used in simulated disaster response scenarios to help the group figure out better ways to help those affected. It will also be used in the field in the event of snows or floods. It is hoped it will help the Red Cross save lives by speeding up response times to disasters.
Land Rover has supported the Red Cross since 1954, supplying 120 vehicles for deployment in all corners of the globe.
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