The outlet said on Wednesday that Luigi Taraborrelli, the former head of chassis and vehicle dynamics at the luxury automaker, has joined Apple to help the mega-cap tech company’s delayed EV and autonomous vehicle projects. Taraborrelli worked on the Urus, Huracan, and Aventador models and a few concept cars while at Lamborghini.
In the tech giant’s nascent vehicle program, the Italian executive joins former Canoo (GOEV) CEO Ulrich Kranz and former Tesla VP of Engineering Stuart Bowers. Even recently, Apple confirmed ambitions for a fully driverless vehicle to hit the road by 2025. Production is set to begin in 2024.
According to people familiar with the issue, Apple’s hiring one of Lamborghini’s top car-development executives indicates that the company is ramping up work on a self-driving electric vehicle.
According to the persons who asked not to be identified since the topic isn’t public, Apple engaged Luigi Taraborrelli, a 20-year veteran of the Italian carmaker, to help lead the design of Apple’s future vehicle. Taraborrelli was most recently the head of chassis and vehicle dynamics at Lamborghini.
Following years of disappointments and instability, the move is yet another indication that Apple is serious about building a car. Taraborrelli, with his experience, has become one of the most senior managers on Apple’s EV team, bringing some exotic-car elegance to the effort.
The executive worked on Lamborghini vehicles such as the Urus, Huracan, and Aventador, as well as more limited editions such as the Huracan Sterrato off-road vehicle and the Asterion concept car. According to his LinkedIn page, he handled Lamborghini’s chassis development, as well as handling, suspensions, steering, brakes, and rims.
An Apple representative declined to comment on the hiring.
Apple hired a 31-year Ford Motor Co veteran to manage its vehicle-safety efforts earlier this year. Ulrich Kranz, the former CEO of struggling electric-car producer Canoo and previous head of BMW’s electric-car unit, was hired last year. Previously, Apple hired Stuart Bowers, former Tesla Autopilot chief, to work on self-driving technologies.
Hundreds of former Tesla and other vehicle company engineers are working on the Apple project, including Rivian Automotive Inc, Alphabet’s Waymo, Volvo Car, and Mercedes-Benz Group. It also has former senior design executives from Tesla, McLaren, Porsche, and Aston Martin on its team.
According to Bloomberg, the company plans to offer a car around 2025 with a design that allows riders to face each other in a limousine-like cabin. Apple has lofty goals of developing a car without a steering wheel or pedals, depending instead on fully autonomous technology. However, many team members and industry observers doubt such a shift is feasible on the company’s present timeline.
Despite the new additions, the team has lost key members, including the project’s former head, Doug Field, and artificial intelligence specialist Ian Goodfellow. Field joined Apple in 2018 after overseeing Tesla’s car programs. He left Apple to join Ford after around three years, which is relatively short for an Apple executive in charge of a significant program.
Kevin Lynch, who also manages the company’s Apple Watch and health software teams, and John Giannandrea, the company’s head of machine learning, are presently in charge of the car project. Apple has been developing an electric vehicle since at least 2014, but the project has been marred by instability, including leadership changes, strategy shifts, and layoffs.
Apple and Lamborghini have a long history. To assist people in previewing the Huracan EVO RWD Spyder, the manufacturer released an Apple-based augmented reality function in 2020. Apple’s head of marketing stated that the business “cares” about Lamborghini.
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