Auto Gains New Ground at SXSW 2016

SXSW 2016 continues this week with a plethora of connected and autonomous car presentations.  

ADAS gains the greatest vehicle mindshare with eight presentations including: including:  Autonomous Vehicles and the American City, Autonomous Vehicles are Here. But Are We Ready? Texas as a Self-Driving Car Case Study, In-Car Entertainment in an Autonomous Future, Robot Cars and Sharing:  Road Rage or Smooth Sailing? Get Your Goods:  Unmanned Systems and 3D Printing and Passengerhood: On the Road to Autonomy and Google Self-Driving Car Project.

Advanced automotive usages are getting attention beyond the ethnographers with: Wired Cars:  Smartphones Change the Way We Drive, Robo-Cars and Selling the Post-Driving Experience, Technology Driven Accessible Transportation and Autonomous Cars Will Make Us Better Humans.  Hopefully the latter will come true.

Smart cities, shared services and multi-modal transportation are deeply linked to advanced transport and reflected in:  Beyond Traffic:  The Emergence of a Connected City, Looking Forward to Rush Hour:  Future of Transit, Smart Cars, and Smarter Cities:  New Transit Tech and Metro Mobility Revolution.

Next, the auto industry is transforming greatly over the next 5 years:  The Connected Car as a New Marketplace, Exhibitor Pitches:  Research + Innovation (connected vehicle testbeds), The Future of the Non-Flying Auto Industry, How Auto Racing Fuels Innovation in Road Cars and new global entrants can pitch their disruptive technologies through several SXSW Accelerator:  Innovative World Technologies

Safety and security are top of mind for both consumers and manufacturers:  Hacking Your Ride:  Transportation Safety and Risk, How Self Driving Cars Will Remake Cities, Building Secure Products in a Connected World, Myth vs.  Fact:  Cybersecurity and the Connected Car and with the rise of deep analytics and tracking systems we cannot leave out the aptly named Deconstructing Creepy:  New Tech, Old Social Norms.

Start-ups featured include, which allows you to find, park and pay with your phone, Drivemode’s app that makes the smartphone the connected hub of the car and Parknav, a real-time on street parking availability service that was an accelerator winner this year.  

Multiple universities with ties to advanced vehicles are participating such as University of Michigan, Stanford and Texas A&M. Automotive leaders from Toyota, GM and Google are leading discussions. 


A funky festival for film and music that began in the 1980’s has grown significantly in size, scope and press.  Start-ups flock to meet VC’s and vie to be the next Twitter or Foursquare that had tremendous lift from SXSW.  Now auto is gaining ground as another touchpoint to lead discussions on its transformation and perhaps find potential acquisitions or IP.