Temperatures inside of a vehicle's cabin can get hot enough to trip the thermal protection systems inside of smartphones. Chevrolet has worked out a novel approach to keeping smartphones within their operating temperature while on the road and expediting the cooling of handset left behind in parked cars during the summer.
Excessive heat can interrupt a smartphone's charging activity. The very act of charging a phone generates a significant amount of thermal energy and mildly hot ambient heat can send the handset over the edge.
High heat can also cause the phone to become slow to respond and can even prompt the handset to shutdown altogether until it temperature falls back into the safe range.
Chevrolet took note of heat related charging and performance issues inflicted on smartphones in hot cars. The automaker's solution was to tap into its vehicle's AC system and tailor a vent specifically for smartphones.
"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," says Chevrolet. "Active Phone Cooling operates only when the HVAC system is turned on by the driver."
Chevrolet plans to roll out its Active Phone Cooling system in the 2016 Volt, Malibu, Impala and Cruze. The Cruze and Volt vehicles will include wireless charging mats for capable smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6.
"Innovation doesn't mean reinventing the wheel," said Impala engineer Dan Lascu. "Sometimes simplicity offers the most elegant solution to a problem."
In other Chevrolet news, the automaker lately unveiled theft alarm notifications that alert OnStar subscribers of any attempts to break into their vehicles. When their vehicles' alarms are triggered, users of the service receive alerts on their smartphones.
"Prompt response and quick awareness of theft situations give customers a greater chance to recover stolen property," said Sandor Piszar, director of Truck Marketing at Chevrolet. "By leveraging the connection that OnStar provides, Chevrolet owners can remain in contact with their vehicle, even when it is out of sight."
The theft alarm notifications complement existing OnStar security services that include the ability to prevent a stolen automobile from being started and to slow one down if it's already running.