Debate brews around espresso machines in new Fiat


Drivers love fancy
technology extras
packed in their car and
Fiat is hoping their
latest innovation may be
the best yet — one that
can save you a trip to
your favorite coffee
store.
But the car designers
new innovative addition
to their latest line, due
out in Italy in October,
is landing them in some
hot water with some
consumers concerned
about it adding to a
mounting list of things
that distract drivers.
However, the car maker
says, don’t rush to
judgement, you can’t
brew up a cup unless
your car is stopped.
Their new crossover
model the Fiat 500L
boasts a whole range of
accessories, but the one
drawing
the most
attention and perhaps
concerns, is their built-
in espresso
machine. That’s right.
Forget your Starbucks
runs, or trying to rush
out the door to work
with your homemade
brew. Instead, inside
your console you’ll find
a “new coffee machine
created in collaboration
with Lavazza ,”
considered to be the
Starbucks of Italy.
“The 500L is the first
standard-production car
in
the world to offer a
true espresso coffee
machine that utilises the
technology of the ‘A
Modo Mio’ pods,” the
company said in a
press release . “It is
perfectly integrated in
the car with a deck
designed expressly by
Fiat.”
A video put out by the
automaker shows a
cartoon character couple
debating
the choice of
having to make a coffee
run. But no longer!
“Do you want to take a
break while flavouring
the best Italian
espresso coffee without
stepping out of the car?
With 500L even this will
be possible!” the
company touts on its
Italian site.
Passengers can brew on
the
road, filling the car
with the sweet aroma of
drink of the tired.
“ It will be possible to
enjoy … inside a car the
high quality, the unique
taste, the body and
creaminess of the true
Italian espresso,” the
automaker boasts.
While it is certainly a
first-of-its kind
offering, the function
has been met with a lot
of criticism in the U.S.
about concerns that
drivers don’t need
another distraction while
driving. Most of the
focus of distracted
driving campaigns have
focused on texting,
including a n ew set of
public service
announcement
commercials
from
AT&T that show the
fatal consequences
of multitasking
while driving.
So, when news of the
coffee meets car
collaboration hit the Web
in
the U.S., people on
Twitter took the car
company to task, noting
that while we can’t drive
while texting in many
places, it doesn’t seem
like a stellar idea to be
making scorching hot
coffee while taking your
car to the road. It was
unclear if those
criticizing the idea knew
the machine only worked
while the car was
stopped, a detail that
was not touted on the
car’s site or in many
media pieces criticizing
the idea.
Even TV host Tom
Bergeron weighed in on
the idea, remarking that
the innovative addition
may be more dangerous
than impressive.
And it prompted
responses from others
that wondered whether
it would lead to lawsuits,
similar to the infamous
McDonald’s scalding hot
coffee debacle and
concerns from auto
blogs and writers about
the safety of the
innovation.
But the automaker wants
to
make a few things
clear in the wake of the
sudden uproar about
the espresso machine’s
safety. They say
they’ve done the testing
and
they are sure their
setup is safe for
drivers.
“You can use it only
when the car is
stopped,” Norman
Winkler,
the
communications press
officer for Fiat in Europe
told CNN. “It’s quite tiny
and it has a docking
station in which it
remains locked. The
quantity of coffee is
much (less) than usual
use in the cups in the
states. Its espresso,
it’s very tiny.”
And it’s not even clear
whether those who are
outraged in the U.S. will
even have to deal with
the issue. Jiyan Cadiz,
the spokesman for Fiat
in the U.S., said it was
too soon to say what
features might or might
not show up in the
American model.
“We have not provided
any product details at
this time,” he told CNN.
“As we get closer to our
own launch of the
vehicle we’ll provide
feature availability and
specs and more context
between the Euro cousin
and the U.S. model.”

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