Recently, an Austrian Red Cross disaster response team has integrated an innovative technological advancement, a rescue vehicle, with an inbuilt drone. The vehicle is a unique life-saving Land Rover Discovery. Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations has designed and engineered ‘Project Hero,’ a bespoke version of the All-New Discovery for use by the Austrian Red Cross. This unique derivative transforms the standard Discovery into an advanced communications unit that allows a new search and rescue drone to take off and land on the vehicle whilst in motion. Project Hero represents the latest collaborative project in a 63-year global relationship between Land Rover and the Red Cross.
Expressing her ambition with the new vehicle and the endeavors it opens for Red Cross, Dr Jemilah Mahmood – the under secretary general for partnerships at Red Cross stated, “We are grateful for Land Rover’s generous support over the past six decades. The Discovery Emergency Response Vehicle is yet another result of our strong global partnership that brings together the best expertise of the Red Cross and Land Rover in one unique vehicle, which will make a difference in rescue operations in the harshest conditions. We are proud to be working with Land Rover to build resilience in communities around the world in the face of natural disasters such as monsoons, flooding and earthquakes.”
Especially designed for rescue missions and prepared for worst case scenarios, the vehicle is equipped with sophisticated communications equipment, which includes an advanced eight rotor drone with a thermal imaging camera installed in it.
The Eight-Rotor Drone
The long range thermal imaging camera has a resolution high enough to detect a person from as far as a distance of 440 meters using the person’s body heat. The drone can also be used for tracking dynamic or static objects or targets and transferring its coordinates to an operator, allowing the rescue vehicle to reach an emergency site in time.
The vehicle is designed to be a nerve centre for emergency situations. The command centre in the vehicle enables any operatives on board to respond to coordinates of any situation very efficiently without any restriction on the time of the day.
Land Rover’s Relationships with Red Cross
The Land Rover Discovery, fully customized for the purpose of disaster management under emergency situations was donated to Red Cross Society by Land Rover. They have been donating vehicles to the cause since 1954, when they first donated a vehicle to be used as a mobile dispensary in Dubai.
“Our partnership with the Red Cross isn’t just about our vehicles. Since we started collaborating in 1954, our aim has been to help the Red Cross improve its disaster response and ultimately to help save lives. Over the past 18 months our engineers have worked closely with the emergency response team at the Austrian Red Cross, deploying Land Rover’s technology and talent to create a unique solution to the requirements of the Red Cross in the region,” said Michael Van Der Sandemanaging, director of jaguar land rover special operations.