March 7, 2017
British automaker Jaguar Land Rover is demonstrating the life-saving capabilities of drones with a bespoke model designed specifically for disaster relief.
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show March 7, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) showed off its bespoke Land Rover Discovery for use by the Austrian Red Cross. Dubbed “Project Hero,” the Discovery model is an advanced communication vehicle that will undertake life-saving missions.
A drive to do good
To create, design and engineer the Project Hero Discovery model, Jaguar Land Rover partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world’s largest humanitarian network.
The collaborative vehicle with the Austrian Red Cross will help the organization save lives by speeding up response times to disaster zones.
Project Hero is outfitted with the first roof-mounted drone. The roof includes a fully integrated landing system that features a self-centering and magnetic retention technology.
These features enables a drone to land on Project Hero while the vehicle is in motion.
Jaguar Land Rover SVO Project Hero with in-flight drone
As the drone patrols the surrounding skies, a live feed will be transmitted to the Red Cross’s emergency response teams. Dispatching the drone to check out conditions will to help quicken response times and efficiency when natural disasters such as landslides, earthquakes, floods and avalanches occur.
Also, since these natural disasters often drastically change the landscape, maps are often redundant and a lack of real-time information adds danger and difficulty for search and rescue teams. Having a drone’s “bird’s-eye view” will help rescuers to investigate emergencies from a safe distance.
In September 2016, Land Rover revealed the capabilities of its new Discovery model on top of a Guinness World Record-breaking Lego structure in the United Kingdom.
Land Rover launched the Discovery 27 years ago and has an owner network of more than 1.2 million consumers to date. The automaker is positioning its revamped, fifth generation Discovery, a seven-seat SUV, as a model for the digital age due to the inclusion of innovative technologies for safety, comfort and performance (see story).