Wireless smartphone charging is becoming a pretty desirable feature in cars nowadays. But Chevrolet seems to think this luxury can present a problem: with everything our phones are constantly doing — streaming music, providing turn-by-turn directions, etc. — it’s not hard for the battery inside to start overheating. In some cases, this can dramatically slow down or completely halt the charging process. So Chevy has come up with a novel way of keeping things cool: a dedicated A/C vent for your phone.
The system is called Active Phone Cooling and is making its debut in select 2016 vehicles equipped with wireless charging. The Impala, Malibu, Volt, and Cruze are each getting the option. Chevy is essentially sharing the cool air already coming from your car’s A/C and sending it to the charging bin where your phone rests. The system only runs when you’ve turned on air conditioning in the main cabin. “Innovation doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel,” Impala engineer Dan Lascu astutely said in a press release. “Sometimes simplicity offers the most elegant solution to a problem.” Chevy claims other automakers don’t have any answer for this feature. Your move, Tesla.