The Land Rover Project Hero Is What’s Right With the Future of Drones, and Safety

Project Hero is a modified Land Rover Discovery that launches a roof-mounted surveillance drone to help save lives.

byAndrew Siceloff|


It seems the general public has an uneasiness towards drones. Some complain about the invasion-of-privacy issue, some simply dislike noisy neighbors operating in restricted areas they aren't supposed to fly. 

What some people fail to see is the amazing opportunity these crafts are affording the men and women facing dangerous conditions while on rescue missions, and crews are starting to notice. The Fire Department of New York utilizes a tethered drone that is able to survey fires with out putting its team in harm's way. 

Recognizing that drones are the future of safety, Land Rover partnered with the Austrian Red Cross and modded their Discovery with a retractable roof capable of launching a drone that can survey dangerous terrain—and save lives. 

Land Rover

The drone launches with Land Rover's proprietary app called Overwatch, manipulated by the center console on the vehicle, that allows its operator to set waypoints, or predetermined locations, that the drone will autonomously navigate while streaming footage back to the pilot before returning back to the vehicle. 

"With the drone airborne, live footage can be transmitted to the Red Cross’s emergency response teams, helping them respond more quickly and effectively to landslides, earthquakes, floods and avalanches," according to Land Rover. The drone is equipped with an infrared camera that's able to detect heat signatures, aiding its ability to find people in need of rescue. 

While we typically see this drone technology in a more commercial setting, we believe this application is a first step in to incorporating drones in to more extreme work environments that will ultimately help save lives, and keep our service crews safe from extreme environments.