Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) has designed and engineered a bespoke version of the all-new Land Rover Discovery for use by the Austrian Red Cross. ‘Project Hero’ was presented to the world’s media for the first time today at the Geneva Motor Show.
SVO collaborated with the Austrian Red Cross to develop a unique Land Rover, dubbed Project Hero, that will be trialled by their emergency response teams. It is hoped it will help the Red Cross save lives by speeding up response times to disasters.
The concept of a rescue vehicle with a drone to aid it is not entirely new, as displayed by Nissan’s Engaurd concept that went on display at the 2016 Hannover Motor Show, however Project Hero is the first Land Rover (and rescue vehicle) with a roof-mounted drone. The drone landing system features self-centring and makes use of magnetic retention enabling it to land on Project Hero when the vehicle is in motion.
Project Hero is based on the 3.0-litre TD6 engine-powered version of the new Land Rover Discovery. In addition to the unique drone technology supplied in Project Hero, the rear of the interior in this special vehicle also features:
- 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
- Power supply points that accept multiple plug arrangements from different regions
Project Hero is also equipped with multiple frequency radio equipment enabling contact to be made in a variety of situations.
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 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.
Land Rover has supported the Red Cross for 64 years and supplied 120 vehicles for deployment in all corners of the globe, including South Africa.