Ever have your smartphone overheat on a hot, summer day? Chevrolet believes it has a solution: Active Phone Cooling.

Chances are you’ve had your smartphone with you in a hot car on a sunny, summer day. If it’s in those conditions long enough, a mobile device can see its performance slow, cease charging properly, or shut down completely — sometimes with permanent damage.


That’s why Chevrolet is introducing the new Active Phone Cooling feature in many of its 2016 vehicles. Chevy engineers decided to connect an air vent from a vehicle’s HVAC system to the onboard wireless charging station. This means that, so long as the air conditioning is turned on, the phone will be swept over with cool air.

It’s a simple but unique approach to a common problem. So far, few of Chevrolet’s competitors have offered a similar system. If you like the idea of Active Phone Cooling, note that Chevy plans to offer the feature in “several vehicles” also equipped with wireless charging — that’s likely to include the 2016 Impala and Malibu, though it could also include 2016 versions of the Volt electric vehicle and Cruze.

There’s a less obvious reason to support this feature. Wireless charging stations allow drivers to interact with their phones without taking their hands off the wheel — a valuable safety measure. By connecting a smartphone to the vehicle through a wireless charging station, drivers could access their device using the onboard infotainment system — allowing them to keep their attention on the road ahead.