Imagine never having to stop at Starbucks for coffee on the highway again. Fiat is putting a coffee machine in its 2013 500L crossover. Some in the U.S., however, have been fast to criticize the move as contributing to driver distractions.
Espresso manufacturer in Fiat
The in-board espresso coffee producer will appear as a choice this fall in Fiat 500L crossover SUVs sold in Europe. It will feature a Lavazza espresso producer designed especially for the automobile, fitted into a custom-made deck. According to CNN, Lavazza is “considered to be the Starbucks of Italy.”
Fiat said in a press release:
“The 500L is the first standard-production car in the world to offer a true espresso coffee machine that utilizes the technology of the ‘A Modo Mio’ pods. It is perfectly integrated in the car with a deck designed expressly by Fiat.”
Drinking and driving
However, the idea has stirred up some hot controversy in the U.S., where the debate over distracted driving is raging. When the announcement hit American shores, it created quite a debate on Twitter, where many were quick to criticize the automaker decision, saying it will make driving, already fraught with risks, even riskier.
Cannot work in drive
The company assures consumers that the espresso producer is really safe and only works when the car is in park. The criticisms have all been considered already, and it is all quite secure.
Fiat’s communications press officer, Norman Winkler, told CNN:
“You can use it only when the car is stopped. It’s quite tiny and it has a docking station in which it remains locked. The quantity of coffee is much (smaller) than usual use in the cups in the states. Its espresso, it’s very tiny.”
United States version may appear
Fiat has not decided yet if it will consist of the choice in the United States version of the 500L when it finally reaches American shores. The hesitancy of the decision may well be due to the distracted driving debate, which seems to be a more touchy topic stateside than in Europe.
“We have not provided any product details at this time. As we get closer to our own launch of the vehicle we’ll provide feature availability and specs and more contexts between the Euro cousin and the U.S. model.”
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