While 2011's Drive was never a massive mainstream hit, the Ryan Gosling vehicle (get it?) developed a massive cult following for its unique, stylized, and just plain cool atmosphere. True Detective is a completely different experience, with none of the film's cartoonish imagery, dance floor beats and minimalist dialogue (seriously, Matthew McConaughey's endless monologues may be the exact opposite of Ryan Gosling's endless stares). But the show consistently mirrors Drive's slow-burn intensity, smooth cinematography, ambient soundtrack and tone.
Late Night Rides
Overhead Tracking Shots
Still, it would be silly to say "True Detective is heavily influenced by Drive because both use overhead tracking shots of cars." It's much more than that.
Drifting Through Time
True Detective, throughout the season, has followed a similar approach for its flashback structure, cutting between shots of the present and the past without any linear passageway but instead with a free-flowing format, and the constant flow of the Steadicam accentuates that effect.