New Land Rover Discovery uses search and rescue drone technology to help Red Cross rescue missions

Rebecca Smith
Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, just Land Rover's drone
Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, just Land Rover's drone (Source: JLR)

Check out this rather special version of the new Land Rover Discovery - for use by the Austrian Red Cross.

That's right, Jaguar Land Rover special vehicle operations has been beavering away on developing "Project Hero", involving search and rescue drone technology which can take off and land on the vehicle, even when it's in motion.

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When in the air, the drone can feed back live footage to emergency response teams.

The vehicle, on display at the Geneva Motor Show, was created to support Jaguar Land Rover's partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and will be trialled by their emergency response teams.

They hope it should speed up times responding to disasters and help to save lives.

(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)

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Land Rover has supported the Red Cross since 1954 and supplied 120 vehicles to the IFRC for deployment across the globe, though this is the first with a roof-mounted drone.

A fully integrated landing system featuring self-centring and magnetic retention technology enables the drone to land on Project Hero when the vehicle is in motion.

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 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, said: “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.”

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