Combine a drone with a capable SUV, and you have a pairing that could do some real good in the wilderness. That's the whole idea behind Land Rover's Project Hero.
Built by Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division, Project Hero combines a roof-mounted drone with a newSUV. The Austrian Red Cross will use this combination to help its disaster response teams.
The drone is capable of landing on the Discovery, even when it's in motion, thanks to a self-centering system with magnetic retention. A sliding floor in the cargo area can be used as a work surface. There's a separate panel behind the rear seats for mounting equipment, and extra power supply points accept plugs from different parts of Europe.
Additional LED lighting will help drivers navigate in pitch black. It'll also come equipped with a whole bunch of radio equipment, since communication is a vital component of disaster response.
Project Hero's drone will be used to transmit live footage to emergency response teams to help them respond to natural disasters. When maps won't work, or when survivors might be trapped in an area a car cannot reach, the drone can act as an extension of the vehicle and its support staff. The drone can be controlled by a tablet app.
To start, Project Hero will be used at the Austrian Red Cross' training center, where it will be used in simulated disaster response scenarios to help the group figure out better ways to help those affected. It will also be used in the field in the event of snows or floods.