Apple is serious about its car project and has enlisted Italian luxury automaker, Lamborghini’s top car-development manager, Luigi Taraborelli, to further the Apple Car ambition.
Taraborrelli is a 20-year veteran of the Italian carmaker and he’s at Apple to help design the tech giant’s future cars according to a source close to the update. Taraborrelli was also recently Lamborghini’s head of chassis and vehicle dynamics.
The move further cement Apple’s ambition to produce a car despite a lot of setbacks in the past. With Taraborrelli’s experience, he is now one of the most senior managers on Apple’s EV team with the expectation that he’ll bring some exotic-car panache to the team.
Taraborrelli has experience with popular Lambo car models such as the Urus SUV, Huracan, and the Aventador as well as some limited models such as the Huracan Sterrato off-road vehicle and Asterion concept car.
He also oversaw the Italian automaker’s chassis development, as well as areas such as handling, suspensions, steering, brakes, and rims, according to his LinkedIn profile.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the hire.
Hiring Taraborrelli isn’t the first by Apple as the company also hired Ford Motor’s 31-year veteran to lead its vehicle-safety efforts. The company had also previously hired the likes of Ulrich Kranz, the former chief of EV maker, Canoo and former leader of BMW’s EV business. Apple even planned to hire former Tesla Autopilot chief Stuart Bowers in order to work on the self-driving technology of the future-bound Apple Car.
The project also includes hundreds of former engineers who had previously worked at Tesla as well as other EV companies such as Rivian, Waymo, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz. It also has former senior design executives on staff from Tesla, McLaren, Porsche and Aston Martin.
A report from Bloomberg has it that Apple Car is expected to become a reality as soon as 2025 with a design that lets riders face each other like a limousine. The company is said to have a grand ambition to create cars that has no steering wheel or pedals while creating a level 5 autonomous technology that currently doesn’t exist on any car around the world.
Even the current Tesla Autopilot is graded at level 2.
However, a lot of thought leaders in the EV industry believe Apple might not be able to achieve this kind of technology within such a short period of time considering the innumerable process that has to go into the development and even the approval of the said vehicle.
Despite a shopping spree for the top-tier experts in the auto industry, Apple in fact lost a number of important talents within the team including the former head of the Apple Car project, Doug Field, and AI specialist Ian Goodfellow.
Field joined the company back in 2018 after leading vehicle programmers at Tesla. He then moved to Ford after three years.
Currently, the Apple Car project is overseen by Kevin Lynch, who also oversees the company’s Apple Watch and health software teams, as well as John Giannandrea, the company’s head of machine learning.
The Apple Car project isn’t something that suddenly came out of the blue as there have been many reports about this ambition as far back as 2014 but the project was plagued with several turmoils including leadership turnover, strategy changes, and even lay-offs.
Apple and Lamborghini have some history together. In 2020, the carmaker released an Apple-based augmented reality feature to help people preview the Huracan EVO RWD Spyder. At the time, Apple’s head of marketing said the company “cares deeply” about Lamborghini.