If you’ve updated your Tesla to the latest software update, you’re in for a little treat. It appears Elon Musk has fitted out his vehicles with a version of SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) interface, the rocket array that Musk wants to use to transport humans to Mars.
Users can activate the interface by pressing the “T” button, then inputting “mars” as an access code. Pressing the Earth icon will then start the virtual adventure.
Tesla is known for adding little tricks like this into its software. In April, Musk revealed that pressing the Autopilot button four times would activate a “more cowbell” feature, mimicking the Rainbow Road level from the Mario Kart series in the user interface, while the cowbell from Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” plays over the speakers. It’s a bit of fun, a bit silly, and shows how Tesla likes to add a bit of humor into its offerings.
The real ITS is expected to cost around $10 billion, and would act as a sort of grand railroad to kickstart a new colony on Mars. It’s a far-flung dream of Musk’s, but he believes that one day, a trip to Mars could take as little as 30 days. For now, SpaceX is spending just under five percent of its budget on the idea.
“If we can get the cost of moving to Mars to the cost of a median house price in the U.S., which is around $200,000, then I think the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high,” Musk said in a September speech at the International Astronautical Federation in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Unfortunately, the Tesla update does not add the ability to visit Mars for yourself, but perhaps one day, when Tesla has perfected driverless cross-country road trips, the company can then move onto considering some sort of rocket-powered cars that can travel through space. Don’t hold your breath, though.