Autolyse as a concept is independent of the manner of mixing and kneading although no doubt some forms of mixing/kneading will do a better job of hydrating the flour than others. I am talking here of the classic autolyse process (flour and water only), not one in which yeast (commercial or natural) has been activated by incorporating it in with the rest of the ingredients. Autolyse used by pnj with a hand kneaded dough should have the same effect as any other kneading method, including a reduced overall kneading time, which should manifest itself in a dough that is not over oxidized and retains the carotenoid pigments. That is why a No-Knead dough, with no kneading, will yield a nice yellow color in the finished crumb. Since professional bakers don't always agree on the optimum autolyse time, it stands to reason that home pizza dough makers will use variable autolyse periods also. I agree with you that the fermentation time is very important, but I wouldn't dismiss the benefits of autolyse and knead times. In fact, when using autolyse to reduct the total knead time, the temptation to overknead is reduced. For pizza dough, it is better for the dough to be slightly underkneaded.