Chevy’s new tech lets your phone chill out

Chevrolet Active Phone Cooler
Many carmakers are trying to think of clever ways to integrate smartphone functionality with their products, but Chevrolet has a new device to help accommodate the phones themselves.

Summertime means car interiors that resemble ovens, and that intense heat isn’t good for phones. To solve that problem, Chevy plans to offer an “Active Phone Cooling” feature on upcoming models.

Engineers got the idea for a phone cooler while testing wireless charging pads for cars in hot weather. They noticed that some phones would stop charging or shut down completely if left in a hot car for too long.

To keep phones running consistently regardless of temperature, the Chevy boffins connected an air vent from the car’s HVAC system to the wireless charging box. As long as the ventilation or air conditioning is on, the phone gets cool air.

Chevy says it will offer Active Phone Cooling in “several vehicles” equipped with wireless charging, including the 2016 Impala and Malibu. Further down the line, it will be available on the 2016 Volt and Cruze. The Volt should hit showrooms later this year, while the Cruze will arrive early next year.

Equipping cars with wireless charging and cooling for phones may help carmakers achieve an important goal: getting people to keep their hands on the wheel.

The average human’s pathological desire to use their phone at all times is an obvious safety risk while driving, and it’s been one of the factors behind recent efforts to increase smartphone connectivity with infotainment systems, allowing drivers to use a car’s built in controls for certain phone functions.

But physically separating user and phone could be effective as well. People might be less likely to pick up their phones if it means interrupting charging, or if they’re tucked away in a closed cubby hole, like the one in the center console of the Cadillac ATS, from Chevy’s sister General Motors brand.


Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.