The film


Consider Life on Wheels as a fairy tale…in the early 1900's people fell in love with the automobile. It felt like destiny and the culmination of all of our mobility dreams - horses, boats, and trains were all leading up to a Happy Ever After with the car. We were free, we were in love. However, despite our rosy beginnings, the car came with a dark curse that threatens to destroy the entire planet. Not only is it killing us in numbers that exceed all global warfare over the past 100 years, it is taking our time, money, health, and even the future of our planet by creating widespread environmental damage.

Luckily for the planet, and for humanity, many smart, plucky, creative people around the world are working to lift the curse. LOW follows these heroes and looks to the future, when people everywhere will be free of the tyranny of the car. Villagers (all of us) around the world are creating new ways of getting from here to there that result in fresh air, healthy communities, and safe streets. Wise leaders are listening and supporting the quest. Ultimately, even the auto itself can be redeemed as it begins to work with other forms of transportation in service of human beings and the planet.

Life on Wheels tells the urgent story of a culture on the verge of a revolution that will transform our economy, our environment, and the rhythms of our everyday lives. In this feature length documentary, David and Hi-jin Hodge, along with a team of mobility mavens, technologists, and dreamers, takes viewers on a journey through the highways, back alleys, and futurescapes of transportation - how we get from here to there. We will shock viewers with the dark reality of our current auto-centric transportation system and we will delight and inspire them with new possibilities and stories of change. The subject of mobility has vast implications. It touches our core values of freedom, health & safety, and happiness. It hits our pocket books and impacts how we spend our time and energy. It literally shapes our landscapes and cities and it drives our economy. 

Our film brings together disparate voices in a fresh, coherent conversation. Telling the story through the eyes of real families and households, we paint pictures of potential futures based in new social movements and lifestyle trends, game-changing technologies, and new business models. We depict an entire industry and infrastructure on the edge of disruption; just as in the computer industry during the 80s, new technologies are coming on line faster than people can figure out how to apply them. No one knows the rules yet and so people - businesses, citizens, and policy makers - are making it up as they go along. At the same time, as we track this “wild west” of mobility, we dismantle the viability and the glory myths of the current, outmoded systems, giving urgency to the transformation.


Narrative outline

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Expert interviewees

Hans Arby Ubigo
Chris Borroni-Bird Afreecar
Dave Brook Car sharing consultant Team Red
Lawrence Burns Former GM VP of research and development and strategic planning
Peter Calthorpe Architect, urban designer and urban planner.
Emily Castor Warren Senior Director of Transportation Policy, Lyft
Robin Chase Zip car founder
Steven Chu 12th United States Secretary of Energy from 2009 to 2013. Nobel recipient Physics
Ignasi Cubina Eco intelligent Growth - Barcelona
Lewis DeSoto  Artist
Keith W. Dierkx Global Industry Leader, Rail IBM
Steve Diller CEO Scansion
Amanda Eaken  Deputy Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
Martin Eberhard Co founder of Tesla Motors
Eve Edelstein Dir. Human Experience Lab, Perkins + Will
John Edson  President of Lunar Design
Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd Chairwoman Drive Sweden
Sharon Feigon Founder - iGo, non-profit carshare Now part of Enterprise Car Rental.
Marc Fenigestein -Co-founder BRD Motorcycles
Rob Forbes Founder, Design Within Reach, CEO, PUBLIC Bicycles
William Clay Ford Jr. Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company
Dan Formosa  Co-Counder SMART Design
Guy Fraker Trends in new mobility
Matilda Gennvi Gustafsson IoT Sustainability Director, Ericsson
Paul Godsmark CTO - Canadian Automated Vehicles Center of Excellence
Micheal Green  CEO, Center for Enviromental Health
Bern Grush Grush Niles Strategic
Paul Hawken  Author, Environmentalists
Jan Hellåker  Program director, Drive Sweden
Daniel Hill Director of Strategic Design, Vinnova
Caroline Hjelm  CMO, Voi
Kerri Holley IBM Fellow, IBM Corporation
Alan Hoffman Urban planner
Lewis Horne CEO, Founder - Uniti Electric Car
Tim Huntzinger Art Center's graduate transportation design program - Recent graduate
Rick Hutchinson CEO City Carshare
Darja Isaksson General Director, Vinnova
Mark Z. Jacobson Professor of Earth Sciences, Stanford
Caroline Jones Carrick Tev project
Prasad Kaipa, Ph.D Kaipa Group
Nishit Kamath Art Center's graduate transportation design program - Recent graduate
Peter Katz New Urbanist
Gabe Klein Former Chicago Transportation Commissioner
Thilo Koslowski VP and Practice Leader, Automotive, Car, ICT, Mobility, Gartner
Maria Krafft  Director for Sustainability and Traffic Safety, Swedish Transportation Administration
Marcel Kroeze Director for Scania Sustainable City Solutions
David Day Lee Art Center's graduate transportation design program - Recent graduate
Paul Lewis  Eno Center for Transportation
Magnus Lindkvist Trends and Futurology
David Lindelöv PhD in Traffic planning, Sweco
Martha Loleit Head of Competence Center Sustainable Mobility Concept, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO



Joel Makower Strategist on sustainable business, clean technology
Paolo Malabuyo VP Advanced User Experience Mercedes-Benz R&D North America
Dr. Mario Molina Nobel Laureate - Chemistry
John Niles Grush Niles Strategic
Scott Nisbet  US West Capital
Mark Notash MD - Emergency Medical doctor
Timothy Papandreou Former Deputy Director, Strategic Planning & Policy, SF Municipal Transportation Agency
Serge Passolunghi Director Renault Innovation
Sunil Paul CEO of Side car
Marco Pavone Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics Stanford University
Enrique Penalosa  Mayor of Bogotá
Raul David Poblano Art Center's graduate transportation design program - Recent graduate
Ryan Popple  CEO Proterra
Johan von Porat  Ubigo
Ezra Rapport Executive Director, Association of Bay Area Governments
Alexander Rieck Co founder of Laboratory For Visionary Architecture LAVA
Salvador Rueda Director of BCNecologia
Meg Ruxton Charge Across Town - Partnerships manager
Ryan Rzepecki FOUNDER / CEO - JUMP
Paul Saffo Futurist
Joshua L. Schank Chief Innovation Officer for the Los Angeles County Metro
Dr. Bodo Schwieer Managing Director Team Red
Robert Scoble Futurist
Richard Sears Consulting Professor, Department of Energy Resources Engineering Stanford.
Susan Shaheen Co-Director transportation Sustainability Research Center. University of CA, Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies
Peter Shannon Levitate - VC
Walter (Wally) Siembab South Bay Cities - Research Director
Russell Singer Art Center- student
Richard Steinberg CEO, of BMW's DriveNow
Danny Stillion Partner, Executive Design Director IDEO
Kirk Strassman VP Parking & Mobility Solutions - Xerox
Dan Sturges  Advocate for a new car future
Ajantha Suriyanarayanan Behavioral Researcher
Christopher C. Swan Author
Brad Templeton Software architect, internet entrepreneur, futurist lecturer
Clara Terrien Renault Innovation Silicon Valley
Gerry Tierney Associate Principal, Perkins + Will
Shin-pei Tsay Gehl Institute, Executive Director
Jeffrey Tumlin Principal, Nelson Nygaard
Dr. Peter Van Deventer Director and Diplomatic Liaison Consulate General of The Netherlands
Geoff Wardle Executive Director, Graduate Transportation Design, Art Center College of Design
Gerhard Wennerström CEO samtrafiken
Jennifer Wilcox Professor of Earth Sciences, Stanford
Susan Zielinkski  Managing Director, Sustainable Mobility & Access Research & Transformation. University of Michigan - Transportation Research Institute
Ken Zita Network Dynamics Associates - Technology strategy, policy and investment advisor


Non-expert interviewees

Jason Serafino Agar - Professional - Commutes by bike

Melissa Boatwright -Professional - Walks to work

Amanda Eaken - Professional - commutes by bus and bike

David Hosilyk - Car accident survivor

Brad Jacobson - Professional - Commutes by bike - doesn't own a car

Yoo-Jin Kim - Student - Uses public transit and walks

John Marin - Professional - Commutes by bike and bus 

Dawn Martin - Car accident survivor



Richard Patterson - Car accident survivor

Brittany Powell - Car accident survivor

Peter Sand - Professional - Walks to work

Jeannette Schwarz - Professional - Long distance commuter

Scott Staub - Professional- Long distance commuter

Rob Wentz - Professional - Commutes on foot, bus, ferry

Henrik Wireklint - Professional - Commutes by bike