Land Rover, through its Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division, has built a unique version of the Discovery for the Austrian Red Cross, which is being presented at the Paris Motor Show. The emergency response vehicle was first previewed by Project Hero, a concept that debuted at last year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Developed as part of an 18-month collaboration, the bespoke Discovery is based on a TD6 model with a 3.0 litre turbodiesel V6 (258 PS/600 Nm) and eight-speed automatic transmission. A set of 255/55 Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tyres are wrapped around 20-inch wheels to help the SUV along on difficult terrain, with four-corner air suspension to match. Being a Land Rover, it is already rather capable at getting to places that might be out of reach for a conventional van.

The unique Discovery serves as a mobile command centre in order to reduce search-and-rescue times, and much like the concept, comes well equipped to do so. This includes an eight-rotor drone that comes with a long-range thermal imaging camera capable of spotting a person from 440 metres and can identify a vehicle at almost 1,000 metres.

Furthermore, drone operators will be able to track stationary or moving objects found using the drone simply by tapping on the touchscreen, whereby precise coordinates are obtained that is crucial in rescue efforts.

As the nerve centre for disaster emergency response, connectivity solutions are an important part of the Red Cross Discovery. The Expedition roof rack not only houses the aforementioned drone, but also four multiple frequency radio antennas, two mobile WiFi hotspots and an automatic satellite phone.

Other features present are high-intensity spot lights in the front bumper and roof rack, 360-degree emergency blue lights, multiple power supply points, six USB charging points, medical equipment and emergency services livery.

“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,” said Michael van Der Sande, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations

“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,” he added.

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