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Land Rover’s new heroBack

They can take impressive pictures and even deliver your shopping but Land Rover today unveiled a new use for drones.

The manufacturer has created a new vehicle, called Project Hero, which comes with a drone to speed up response times in disaster zones.

Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) collaborated with the Austrian Red Cross to develop the car, which will be trialled by its emergency response teams.

What is it?

Project Hero is a modified Land Rover Discovery. It is based on the 3.0-litre TD6 engine-powered version of the new Discovery.

In addition to the drone technology, the rear of the interior in the vehicle features:

  • Heavy-duty sliding floor in the rear load space, which may be used as an addition work surface, or to protect the load carried underneath.
  • A segregation panel behind the rear seats providing additional equipment mounting points
  • Strategically positioned LED lighting to aid night vision
  • Power supply points which 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.

Why is it needed?

Dramatic landscape changes can make maps redundant, which adds to the danger and difficulty of finding and rescuing survivors, so the drone’s bird’s-eye view will allow rescuers to investigate an emergency scene from a safe distance.

How does it work?

The flying drone transmits live footage to the Red Cross’s emergency response teams, helping them respond more quickly and effectively to landslides, earthquakes, floods and avalanches.

The drone can land on Project Hero’s roof when the vehicle is in motion using a landing system featuring self-centring and magnetic retention technology.

Where will it be based?

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 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.

What they say
John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover special operations managing director, said: “Land Rover and the team of engineers and designers at SVO are proud to support the incredible humanitarian work of the IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) and its members.

“The new Discovery is an outstanding all-terrain SUV, and Project Hero is the optimum combination of enhanced capability and innovative technology. We hope to help the Red Cross save lives in emergency situations.”

Dr Jemilah Mahmood, IFRC under secretary general for partnerships, added: “We are grateful to Land Rover for their generous support over the past 60 years, and are proud of our ambitious global partnership that has transformed the lives of millions of people on four continents.

“The partnership is supporting communities around the world to become more resilient in the face of natural disasters such as monsoons, flooding and earthquakes.

“Project Hero combines the best expertise of the Red Cross and Jaguar Land Rover to create a truly unique vehicle, which we hope will be capable of making a difference to rescue operations in the toughest environments.”

 

Posted by Beth Rose on 07/03/2017