Land Rover’s Project Hero Features Drones for Rescue Operations

Last month’s Geneva Motor Show saw car giant Jaguar unveil an international collaboration which is hoped could save many lives in years to come. ‘Project Hero’, is fitting Land Rover SUVs with Taiwanese Align M480L drones, in the hope of using them in emergency search and rescue missions.

The project has been developed in partnership with the Austrian Red Cross and is designed to aid rescuers assess damage, injuries and rescue tactics at the outset of emergency missions. The Land Rover Discovery is fitted with a landing platform on its roof, from which the drone will fly. An integrated launch and landing system enables the drone to take off and land automatically, even while the Land Rover is itself in motion. The drone can fly at a maximum of 34 miles per hour, during a 20-minute window. During this time it is expected to locate the scene of the emergency and relay a live broadcast of the situation back to rescuers in order to assist them with tactical preparations.

The project is based at the headquarters of the Austrian Red Cross in Erzberg, Austria – an area which sees a high number of search and rescue missions each year, and which provides an excellent testing and training environment for the Special Operations Vehicle.

Jaguar and Align are not the first companies to deploy such technology for emergency missions. Two years ago, Microsoft launched its Advanced Patrol Platform for police operations. Its drone is launched from police cruisers to assist patrols and missions. The quadcopter relays information back to the patrol car about suspect identification, histories, driving directions and speeds, along with dispatch communications and various other functions. This was followed up last year by a software bundle that allows government agencies to securely store and share information in a self-contained cloud.

Andrew Maxwell

Andrew is a former journalist who now works as a freelance writer specializing in tech and gadgets. He currently resides in Thailand.

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