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DT Daily: Post-9/11 timelapse, self-driving Teslas, Apple Watch fallout

Today on DT Daily: The Freedom Tower rises from the ashes of 9-11, Elon Musk weighs in on self-driving cars, and what’s the real effect of the Apple Watch?

It’s been 13 years since two jumbo jets slammed into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, killing thousands of people and igniting two long foreign wars for the United States.

And after a long period of development and construction, a museum dedicated to that fateful day, and a building, known unofficially as the Freedom Tower, have risen in the space formerly occupied by the two skyscrapers. The huge project is essentially finished now, with reflecting pools and open spaces where the towers once stood, and the new World Trade Center rising 1776 feet above them.

All the while, EarthCam has been tracking the construction and if you’d like to see how lower Manhattan went from disaster zone to memorial to new skyscraper, go here and here to see the whole project from start to finish.

If anyone in the automotive world can speak with authority on modern automotive technology, it’s Tesla founder and future Bond movie supervillain Elon Musk.

With his next two cars still in development, Musk says he’s on board with the push to automate driving, and he adds that a Tesla model with an autopilot of sorts may be just three years away-and a fully autonomous car could arrive in only five or six years. While that may sound like wishful thinking from most other carmakers, we’re more inclined to trust Musk, who not only heads Tesla, but also indy spaceship shop Space-X and solar power behemoth SolarCity.

In fact, Musk told Japanese news outlet Nikkei that eventually, all Tesla cars will have self-driving capabilities. And we have every reason to believe him. And sorry about the supervillain thing, Elon…

We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of Apple’s latest hardware announcements, including the long awaited iWatch – er, Apple Watch. But outside of the tech specs and such, what does the Apple Watch mean for smart watches in general. Mostly this: in one day, the conversation about smartwatches for many people changed from “whatever” to “hmm, I wonder what color or version is best for me?”

As DT writer Brian Heater says, it takes the power of a product from a company like Apple to redefine and popularize a whole product category, just like they did with music players and smartphones. And even though it won’t come out until next year, you can bet a bunch of competitors just retooled many of their smartwatch ideas to keep up.

We’d love to hear your voice about Apple, smartwatches and what you plan to do now – whether it’s pass, buy or wait. Read Brian’s article and leave us a comment.