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Chevrolet is adding Active Phone Cooling to some future models to keep your phone from overheating

Chevrolet is adding a new system to its upcoming 2016 Impala and Malibu lines called Active Phone Cooling. This system will come with vehicles that are equipped with wireless charging, in an effort to ensure that phones stay cool and don't overheat. During testing, Chevy noticed that when using the wireless charging feature in the vehicles, smartphones would get hot enough to stop charging, and even shut off. To combat this, they are adding a new air vent, and this is how it works.

An air vent connected directly to the car's air conditioning and ventilation system is directed to the charging bin where the phone rests for wireless charging, sending cool air to help lower the phone's temperature. Active Phone Cooling operates only when the HVAC system is turned on by the driver.

In addition to the 2016 Impala and Malibu, Chevy will be adding the Active Phone Cooling feature to its Volt and Cruze line.

Source: Chevy

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.

87 Comments
  • Smart
  • Not really. It's just a vent next to their designated phone storage location. I've mounted my phone to sit in front of the vent to keep it cool while running GPS and charging ever since I started using it for that purpose.
  • Also smart
  • LOL
  • Same here, although I have navigation in my car so I don't use my phone for GPS as often. Also, even my 2008 BMW 335xi Coupé have a air conditioned phone holder - the compartment between the front seats have both a phone holder/charger and air conditioned ventilation :)
  • I know in some of GMs's other vehicles thats where usb/aux 3.5mm ports are located which means if you use your phone like a music storage device youd need a long cord
  • This must be a response to the issue Apple is having with iPhone meltdowns.
  • No, it's about wireless charging and Apple still hasn't got that feature.
  • Why not the sports cars?
  • Sadly GM doesn't think that way. GPS for example was only available in the volt for example at one time
  • haha.  hope the same area support Qi and NFC as well. But knowing the US they put PMA in there just because no phone got ever equipped with it
  • didn't AT&T's 1520 include PMA instead of Qi?
  • No. They excluded Qi so they can Sell PMA shells for it. They didnt include anything
  • If any of my 6 cup holders are sacrificed, I'm not going to be happy.
  • Why would they add nfc? They have yet to port the mylink app
  • It will be useless for windows phones..
  • Not my Icon. Or my next phone, the 940XL!!
  • Of course, since you said ICON, you must be on Verizon, and this site said yesterday that the U.S. is unlikely to get the XL, with only the 5.2" device planned for an American release.
  • Even IF it's true a 940XL doesn't make it to the US, whos to say they guy will stay with Verizon, won't buy an internation phone, or won't move out of the country and buy a Chevy. You're assuming an awful lot based on what someone current phone is.
  • Not really. All I did was state that his current carrier will not get the 5.7" device. I didn't say he couldn't get it and go BYOD or anything. What YOU did was take my factual statement, add a bunch of made-up conjecture I didn't say, put those words in my mouth, and then claimed that I said something false that I simply didn't.
  • So you made two completely unrelated statements in one comment. Or just claimed to when shown to be wrong. I wonder which is more likely.
  • Yeah, I stated he's on Verizon, then stated something about Verizon. Relevance is so weak there, brah.
  • Can they make us hate them even more, it seems so!
  • Why is that?
  • Why? It's just wireless charging. It's not a special integration solely designed for iOS and Android devices. As long as you have a device with wireless charging (either embedded or via a shell), it should work without any issues. The only stipulation would be, that if it uses a single standard, say PMA, and your device uses Qi for wireless charging, then it wouldn't work.
  • I purchased a qi power coil with USB (pma q available) that fits under my case for my 1520. Cheap and works great
  • I did the same, don't need a pma ugly case. I use any case I like and keep using my qi chargers
  • And if you need usb you have to undo the qi connection, a pain.
  • Good thing I very rarely need usb. Then I just unplug the coil. Pretty simple.
  • Well actually I got a Volt 2011 and it recongizes my Lumia 930 pretty great thanks to it's Bluetooth system. Now of course if they were the implement Apple iCar or Android Auto or whatever then it'll probably be usless for Windows Phones.
  • Genius! Cut one more hole in to the car. Call it a phone cooler. Marketing. Love it.
  • The marketing behind this is the more brilliant part.
  • Marketing is all about how to make the small things become the big things.
  • Bad idea in humid environments. Can cause condensation to occur in a device when moved from a super cooled environment to warm humid one.
  • Eh, I'll trust Chevy engineers on this one versus comments on a Windows Phone site, lol
  • Engineers better than Chevy engineers sometimes post comment on the internet.
  • err.... You mean the same people who gave us the Chevy Lumina van and SSR, the Cadillac Cimarron and the Pontiac Aztek???
    Wow.... You're a brave soul to trust those characters :-D
  • Considering they also gave us the Cadillac CTS-V, the Z06 Corvette and the Car of the Year, Impala, I am inclined to trust them more than a WC comment as well.
  • Good. I'm sure you'll also enjoy browsing their vehicle recall notices online.
  • As if they are the only manufacturer with recalls. You need to get out more.
  • Clearly, they are not. However, the numbers do speak for themselves.
  • Instead of complaining about how good the engineers are, you should think a bit by yourself. Airconditioning should be programmed to cool down the care no more then 7-8°C because otherwise you get a heatshock when leaving the car. 7°C isn't enough to cause serious problems as you have greater heat differences when using your phone outside while it's cold and the enter a warm room. But I do understand that a lot of Americans aren't aware of that and set their AC at around 18°C no metter of the temperature outside. But the impact on your phone isn't the worst thing you should be worried about.
  • Unless they incorporate dehumidifiers in their vehicles, you have a valid point. Should apply to Chev ;)
  • Don't know why people are criticizing this. It has nothing to do with Chevy engineers and everything to do with physical chemistry. I take it no one has worn sunglasses in an air conditioned car and then stepped out on a hot humid day?
  • Amazing how Chevy is implementing new tech faster than others. I would love wireless charging!
  • Pretty sure Toyota beat Chevy to the punch on wireless charging.  Avalon to be specific feature Qi charging. 
  • What wireless charging standard are they using?
  • According to GMAuthority "compatible with the PMA 1.0, WPC 1.0 and WPC 1.1 specifications".  WPC = Qi
  • Hear that, Samsung/Android owners?? It's your lucky day!
  • You say Samsung/Android overheats? I don't think you used a Lumia, lol.
  • My L920 could use that. Cooks/Reboots when using Here Drive
  • here drive absolutely destroys my phones battery. Even if the phone is plugged in, here drive still manages to drain it dry.
  • Try turning the screen off when you don't need it and use the low power mode. You'll still get voice nav with the screen off and save your battery.
  • The problem isn't Here, it's the 920. It runs hot. When I switched to the 830 all of my overheating problems went away.
  • Yeah I remember two years ago I plugged my 920 into my car's power port to charge it while using HERE Maps, it was at 95% when I left... The battery died after about 2 hours of using it, it was also hot to touch... The worst part is, the destionation is in a cabin somewhere in the middle of Northern Quebec that my Volts GPS couldn't find the address... (2011 Map).
  • Yelawolf - Box Chevy Part III (ft Rittz)
  • dumb.  I could think of about 100 other ways to improve your vehicles in stead of adding ac for a freaking phone!
  • Your statement would make sense if the only improvement made was a cooled wireless charging pad, but I'm pretty sure there are other improvements being made as well.
  • Like what?  An engine that performs 1% better?  A car with some more curves?  Car companies are just like the space industry, they forgot what innovation was.  Do you know how many computers are in a vehicle?  Way too many.  It would probably be cheaper if you had one or 2.  Much easier to update and diagnose than a bunch of computers each made by a different company that somehow talk to eachother.
  • Lol educate yourself
  • So you prefer cars from the 80's.  At least I understand where you are coming from now.
  • I'm sure the Auto Industry are all ears to hearing you ideas... I'm not being sarcastic either.
  • All you need to do is look what Elon Musk is doing a little.  Sure, not all of the features can come over.  But being able to push firmware updates to the vehicles is something every vehicle should be able to do now.  My grandfather needed an update on his truck (not GM).  Do you have any idea how much it costs to install the update on his truck?
  • Actually I do, it would of cost me 150$ just to update my Volt's Navigation data. Which I decided... screw it just use the HERE Maps instead. If my Volt ever needs repairs then maybe I'll ask them to update it, but until then I'll just use HERE maps if I need directions.
  • None of that should be necessary IMO, expecially with GM having OnStar, the connection is already in the car.
  • Yeah I know, it's just that I don't pay an annual subscription to OnStar so it's disabled right now. I believe I can still do emergency services with OnStar but that's it? I'll need to read my manual again just to make sure.
  • So apparently, phone companies aren't doing anything about overheating that we have to deal with it, and car companies have to sort it out for them?
  • Isn't it our fault for demanding super thin devices with huge screens and massive batteries?
  • So... In January users have to turn on the a/c to keep the phone cool if it needs to be charged? Seems like this should be set up on a separate system.
  • My 930 always runs hot when wireless charging in a DC-50 portable charger. Thought it was unique but this tells me otherwise!
  • How about during the winter when the heater is on?
  • The phone itself will be warm enough when wireless charged so I don't think it needs a heater :P But that does bring a good question, if it's nothing more than diverting part of the A/C to the wireless charging cabinet, then surely the heater counts as well... Unless it's also has a ring for you to either shut off the flaps in the ventilation or keep it open. I hope they have that :P
  • GM supports both specs of wireless charging.
  • hmm, sounds similar to the "Chill Zone" feature in my Caliber... since I don't use it for drinks, wireless charging seems like a good idea.
     
  • No cooling on standard qi chargers. If this is any more than just a vent it's a waste of energy. Let the phone manufacturers design a phone that can handle the heat of the real world and use, as they currently do.
  • Specific and only for Snapdragon 810 phones
  • Or any Nokia Lumia.
  • Don't cold temperatures also reduce the battery life?
  • Why is everybody so negative? Somebody thought of something that I think is useful and it looks like you guys don't drive with Nav and charging at the Same time.
  • I think this is a stupid idea. Overheating while charging to the level of shutting off indicates a design defect in the smartphone or charger. Implementing this idea just masks the main problem and keeps the phone/charger designers on putting out crap. It's STUPID! What's next? A built-in-car tiny phone fire extinguisher in case the phone catches fire? What's next? A bullet-proof encasement for the phone in case it explodes into sharp flesh-piercing pieces of DEATH. STUPID!
  • Relax there Dash. Breathe.... And have a Snickers
    ;-]
  • Thanks, man. For a second I thought I needed CPR, but Snickers works!
  • It's not stupid, its useful. As we currently have overheating problems they tried to fix it. One brand of vehicles wont keep the phone builders from addressing heating issues.
  • the irony will be they'll size it for iPhones. which of course don't have wireless charging. :p
  • Smart
  • They should have positioned it so that the phone could be used as a navigation device. Qi is the only chance to provide enough power that the phones battery doesn't run dry. But Qi does heat up the phone in addition to the high usage of the prozessor during navigation. So this would be the most usefull case for cooling. The ones of you that are using a case should be aware of the added heatisolation. This could cause the phone to overheat and shut down even quicker.
  • Gimmick..... Lol. Clever gimmick tho.