I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the SXSW 2019 screening last night of the new documentary film AUTONOMY. With its debut just three days ago on March 9, this film is on the cutting edge - as are the subjects it covers. It's a love letter to the automobile, and a passionate discussion about its future.
The film begins with a general overview of autonomous vehicles in history, and what are the capabilities that drive (*pun intended) them. There's a push/ pull dynamic set up in the film between the forces of innovation and invention driving towards an increasingly digital future, and those who are passionate for an analog and more hands on present and past. The documentary outlines that Henry Ford created modern society and a Detroit that defined modernity and progress the 20th Century - while Silicon Valley is defining the 21st.
The automatic control idea for cars is not a new one. These ideas were introduced as early as 1911 in early films.
While other references to autonomous vehicle ideas were present in pop culture with shows
like KNIGHT RIDER...
Movies like TOTAL RECALL...
And even shows like The Jetsons. Leonardo DaVinci made designs for vehicles in the 15th
century. The beauty of vintage vehicles is highlighted, and an Orange County collectors group, The Drag'n Knights, who assembles their own cars entirely by hand is featured, along with another analog car enthusiast, Akira Nakai, who customizes vintage Porches. Akira is passionate about design and analog experience above all: for him, a car is a work of art.