Is the Apple Car ‘Project Titan’ in chaos? Deadlines and goals seem to be shifting

Bill Roberson
Digital Trends
Is the Apple Car ‘Project Titan’ in chaos? Deadlines and goals seem to be shifting
Also today: All U.S. airlines ban the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the FAA piles on as well, and it's one month and counting until SolarCity and Tesla shareholders vote on a merger Elon Musk hopes will streamline operations.

That could be one expensive sock if you get caught

Just when you thought all the drama with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was over, it isn’t. The phone has now been officially banned by all U.S. airlines, and banned as in “don’t even try to bring it on the plane.” So what to do? Well for those Note fans who just can’t see their way clear to return the phone for something else, it probably means either mailing it home, or smuggling it aboard anyway… which could net you a $180,000 fine, says the FAA.

But according to a story that’s both funny and scary from our friends over at Gizmodo, there is still a lot of confusion over what to do when travelling with the phone. One owner said an airline rep told him it would be fine if he took the battery out of the phone. Easier said than done since the battery isn’t removable. Another traveler said a Samsung rep told him to smuggle it aboard in a sock. Brilliant.

Hey, we understand that the phone was expensive, exchanging it is a hassle, the flight ban is even more hassle, and Samsung is not helping matters with the sock idea, if true. But please, if you have one, shut ‘er down, exchange it now and keep it off of airplanes.

Designing cars is hard, eh Apple?

Looks like there’s trouble in Apple’s walled garden over Project Titan, Cupertino’s attempt to get into the autonomous car market.

According to Bloomberg, internal strife has seen staffers depart and the project flounder. Apple was supposedly going to reveal the car, or the software for a car, or something combining the two, in 2020. But that deadline has reportedly been pushed back to 2021, and word is there’s now a late 2017 deadline for the project to put up or shut up in terms of what it will ultimately be: a whole car, or a software package that runs a car made by an outside automotive partner.

With Apple investing heavily in high-tech supercar maker McLaren and, according to the Wall Street Journal, devoting nearly 2,000 workers to the project, this isn’t some after-hours lark Tim Cook and friends are piecing together in a corner of the corporate garage. We’ve dedicated an ongoing story to the Apple Car saga, so hit this link for the latest Apple Car updates.

The roof, the roof, the roof is generating power…

Just one month from now, shareholders in Tesla and SolarCity, both essentially run by Elon Musk, will vote on a merger of the two companies. Elon has called it a no-brainer to combine the two, but not everyone is convinced. To help sway the holdouts, Tesla, or, essentially, Elon, has announced that Tesla will partner with Panasonic to build solar cells and associated equipment at a new billion-dollar plant in Buffalo, New York – but only if the merger is a go.

One small issue: the fancy new plant was supposed to be completed this year, but is now delayed until 2017. However, there may be good reason for that: Tesla and SolarCity are expected to announce a new product, a solar roof, at an event on October 28th. Typically, SolarCity and other solar panel makers install the boxy cell units on top of an existing roof, which, unless you’re bigger on alternative energy than you are on how your roof looks, can be a bit off-putting.

But Musk says the new product will actually be a roof, with the solar panel tech integrated into what will likely be a more aesthetically pleasing and more traditional-looking design. Of course, the system will also be designed to smoothly integrate with Tesla’s Powerwall energy storage system and home car-charging systems. It kinda does sound like a no-brainer, actually. We’ll know more in two weeks.