Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) have designed a unique version of the new Land Rover Discovery for use by the Austrian Red Cross. 'Project Hero' was unveiled to world for the first time at this year's Geneva Motor Show.

Project Hero is an advanced communication vehicle, created to support Jaguar Land Rover's partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world's largest humanitarian network. SVO have collaborated with the Austrian Red Cross to create a unique vehicle that is being trialled by their emergency response teams. The vehicle is aiming to help the Red Cross save countless lives by reducing response to disasters and identifying people who need rescuing quicker.

John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, has said "Land Rover and the team of engineers and designers at SVO are proud to support the incredible humanitarian work of the IFRC 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."

Land Rover and the Red Cross have been partners since 1954, and over 120 vehicles have been supplied to the IRFC for deployment all over the globe. Project Hero is the first vehicle with a roof-mounted drone. A fully integrated landing systems also features on the drone, with self-centering and magnetic retention technology allowing it to land on Project Hero when the vehicle is still moving.

Enhancing the New Discovery's already unrivalled capabilities, the drone allows live footage to be transmitted to the emergency response teams inside the vehicle, helping them to respond quickly and effectively to any natural disasters including landslides and earthquakes. Dramatic landscape changes can make maps redundant, adding to the high levels of danger the rescue teams face, so offering them a birds-eye view of the current situation allows teams to investigate emergency scenes from a safe distance.

Dr Jemilah Mahmood, IFRC Under Secretary General for Partnerships, says "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."

Project Hero is based on the 3.0-litre TD6 engine powered version of the New Discovery. In addition to the unique drone technology supplied, the rear of the interior in this exclusive 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
  • Innovative power supply points which accept multiple plug arrangements from different regions

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 response 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, floods or accidents.

For more information contact your local Land Rover dealership.

Land Rover Basingstoke
01256 630 512
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01293 221154
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01737 300 923
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01732 440 875
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01798 300 243