Saving lives is a very serious matter and there are many obstacles in the way. One of the primary frustrations is not being able to properly locate people who need to be rescued – ahead of time or on the site. The main reason for this is the lack of a proper view of the situation. After all, this is search and rescue, in which saving lives hinges on whether those who need to be rescued are found.
This newest and unique version of the Land Rover Discovery should help counter that frustration. Dubbed as the Land Rover Discovery Project Hero, this bespoke vehicle features a drone fitted with a camera, thereby allowing rescuers to view the surroundings their naked eyes couldn’t reach. Especially created by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) for the Austrian Red Cross, the Land Rover Discovery Project Hero is now being showcased at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
As it is, the Land Rover Discovery is already a capable SUV that is powerful and versatile enough to move people and equipment both on the streets and off the road. It should prove to be a great mobile unit for Red Cross emergency response teams who may need to go off the road to conduct search and rescue operations during landslides, floods, earthquakes and avalanches. But as a Project Hero -- based on the 3.0-liter TD6 version of the new Land Rover Discovery – it does more.
Specifically, the Project Hero’s drone significantly improves the SUV’s capability by several times. A member of the emergency response teams could serve as operator to plot the waypoints of the drone, which then takes flight according to the plan. Thanks to the installed camera, the drone could send live footage of what it sees to the system fitted inside the Project Hero. This way, the rescue team could safely investigate a certain area and find survivors using a bird’s-eye view. Moreover, the drone could be operated even while the Project Hero is on the move.
When not deployed, the drone rests on the roof, in particular on an integrated landing system that features world’s first magnetic retention and self-centering drone technology. Likewise, the drone could land on the roof even while the Project Hero is moving.
For greater versatility, the Project Hero comes with a heavy-duty sliding floor in the rear load space, which could be used to serve as a work surface. Additional equipment mounting points are also found on the segregation panel behind the rear seats. Project Hero also comes with power supply points. Apparently, night vision as well as communication isn’t a problem with Project Hero as it is equipped with strategically positioned LED lighting and multiple frequency radio equipment.