The Tesla Model 3 is so advanced that it can drive on the surface of Mars. Well, sort of. The California-based company has built a few Easter eggs into the car’s infotainment system, and one of them turns its touchscreen into a map of the Red Planet.
The Easter eggs weren’t mentioned during the massive party Tesla organized last week to celebrate the start of the Model 3’s production run. Talking about them to thousands of people would defeat the purpose; they’d simply become features, like range or paint colors. Instead, they were brought to light through a video posted on YouTube by Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson. He owns the very first Model S, and he was lucky enough to be among the first 30 customers to take delivery of a Model 3.
He accesses the Easter egg menu by simply tapping the Model 3’s massive, television-like touchscreen. It brings up a card labeled “About Your Tesla” that displays information about the car such as its VIN number and its mileage. That’s hardly Easter egg-worthy, but give it a few seconds and a second, more interesting card appears. It shows sparkles, an icon of Mars, an icon of a cow bell, and an icon of a picture of a unicorn. That’s when things start getting interesting.
Tapping the Mars icon doesn’t make a candy bar pop out of the dashboard, unfortunately. In-car technology is not quite there yet. Instead, it turns the navigation screen’s map into a map of Mars, and replaces the cursor with the Curiosity rover, which is not to be confused with the British type of Rover known for blowing headgaskets. Curiosity moves along the surface of Mars as the Model 3 navigates through traffic, giving motorists a taste of space exploration.
The unicorn icon opens a basic, Microsoft Paint-like software that the front passengers can use to doodle or take notes. The feature is already available on the Model S, along with other clever and entertaining Easter eggs. Unfortunately, Jurvetson doesn’t explore what the “more cowbell” icon does, so we’ll have to wait until someone else decides to.
One of the coolest parts of owning a Tesla is the over-the-air updating software. Tesla releases new versions of its infotainment system on a regular basis, and it’s safe to bet at least a few of them will include new Easter eggs that owners will need to search for.
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