At a recent Open Garage Talk event, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini Stefano Domenicali spoke with Stanford professor of mechanical engineering Chris Gerdes about the challenges and opportunities facing a small, niche carmaker in times of profound technological and market changes, and how the company seeks to balance innovation with tradition.
Domenicali said that one of the biggest questions for Lamborghini right now is how the technologies being developed by startups and the traditional automotive industry can be applied to their high-performance cars. In particular, he spoke of the challenge of finding ways to incorporate self-driving technologies without dampening the driving experience. Domenicali also spoke about the company's approach to hybridization and electrification, noting that while fully electric super sport cars are not a practical reality at the moment, "for sure it will arrive, but not in the short term." In thinking about how to incorporate safety equipment that potentially takes control away from the driver, Domenicali said the key is to keep the focus squarely on performance. Put "fun to drive" at the center, then apply technology to that goal.
Started in 2012, the Stanford University Open Garage Talk lecture series brings together the Silicon Valley mobility community, automotive enthusiasts, startups and people interested in the mobility sector, autonomous vehicles, self-driving cars and the new ways that we'll advance transportation in the future. It is sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) and the Revs Program at Stanford.