Land Rover and Virgin Galactic unveil long-term partnership

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 15, 2014

Land Rover has inked a long-term global partnership agreement with Virgin Galactic. The partnership was announced against the backdrop of SpaceShipTwo -- the first commercial passenger carrying spacecraft – and Land Rover’s Discovery Vision Concept vehicle. Under the partnership, Land Rover vehicles become part of daily life for the Virgin Galactic team and for all ‘Future Astronauts.’

The team’s space experience will commence with Land Rover as they arrive in New Mexico for training and will culminate when the carmaker’s vehicle ferry them from the space terminal building to the waiting SpaceShipTwo. The agreement will see Land Rover providing a fleet of vehicles at Virgin Galactic’s test center in the Mojave Desert, California and at Spaceport America, its operational base in New Mexico.

The announcement was unveiled on board USS Intrepid, a former aircraft carrier and currently a museum for exploration of sea, air and space. Land Rover’s first task was to bring a full-size replica of SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise to New York. Virgin Galactic’s spaceship joined the British Airways Concorde and the Space Shuttle Enterprise on the Intrepid.

SpaceShipTwo is not unlike the Space Shuttle in a sense that it is first of reusable human spacecraft. During the announcement, Land Rover also unveiled its Discovery Vision Concept, which provides a glimpse of the carmaker’s future family of Discovery vehicles. It also provides a glimpse of Land Rover’s new design language and a package of world-first technologies.

The Discovery Vision Concept represents the ultimate SUV of the future as it employs augmented reality technology to display a ‘see-through’ view of the terrain ahead, thus its front ‘virtually’ invisible from inside. It features Gesture Control technology that allows owners to open the doors, operate the indicators or turn on the headlamps just by moving a hand.

On the other hand, Laser Referencing projects visible markings, symbols and imagery onto the ground to help low speed or tricky maneuvers.

Phil Popham, Group Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover said "This is a marriage of two of Britain's most iconic brands who celebrate shared values, a pioneering spirit and a true sense of adventure.  Not only do we both share the same long-term vision to enable mankind to explore, but we also want to develop this partnership to inspire others.  From our tens of thousands of employees and customers to schools and colleges, motivating more young people to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology and math - and explore new ways of travelling for future generations." [source: Land Rover]

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