China's top SUV maker to add ChatGPT-like bot into cars

Great Wall Motor will use Baidu's Ernie 3.5 foundational language model which rivals OpenAI's ChatGPT4.
Jijo Malayil
Empty cockpit of autonomous car
Empty cockpit of autonomous car


Marking the entry of AI systems into mass-market cars, Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor (GWM) is set to integrate Baidu’s ChatGPT-like AI system, which enables conversation between driver and car.

According to South China Morning Post (SCMP). GMW has partnered with technology firm Baidu to produce automobiles integrated with the latter's chatbot tool, Ernie Bot, bolstering a push to make cars more intelligent and user-friendly.

Baidu's foundational AI model, the Ernie bot, is being pitched as a Chinese rival to OpenAI's ChatGPT. “Several innovative features have been tested in those vehicles that are being mass-produced. They will be gradually put into commercial use on a wide basis," said a GWM statement quoted by SCMP. 

Baidu is betting big on AI, primarily focused on developing its language model Ernie. An announcement in May said it's investing $140 million (1 billion yuan) to incubate Chinese startups focusing on generative AI.

To advance in-car experience

Baidu revealed last month that their Ernie 3.5 beta had achieved significant progress, outperforming ChatGPT (3.5) in total ability ratings and outperforming GPT-4 in specific Chinese language skills. 

Using the latest iteration of the Ernie model, GWM and Baidu have been cooperating to research applications of its latest language model in intelligent in-car interactions. They have already proven many novel features to implement in mass-produced vehicle models. 

Baidu Apollo, China's search giant's autonomous driving solutions platform, presented different intelligent driving technologies created on ERNIE for in-car scenarios, including journey planning, in-car entertainment, knowledge Q&A, and AI sketching, during the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2023. services such as journey planning and in-car entertainment.

Demand for intelligent solutions

The automotive business is rapidly evolving, and AI has emerged as a critical aspect for key automotive OEM firms seeking to differentiate themselves and deliver new value propositions. Consumers and the industry are united in their need for intelligent cockpits that provide more intuitive interfaces, expanded functionalities, and smoother experiences.

Chinese manufacturers like Lynk and Smart have also announced intentions to create vehicles equipped with Ernie Bot technology and its own electric vehicle (EV) subsidiary Jidu Auto, which will begin production in late 2023. Uber also recently stated that it was working on a ChatGPT-like AI bot to incorporate into its app.

GMW, the largest SUV maker in China, did not specify which models will be the first to include built-in Ernie Bot, China's response to OpenAI's ChatGPT, a huge language model. It also did not provide a timeline for releasing its first car equipped with conversational technology.

Baidu is also actively looking at possibilities to integrate Ernie Bot into other businesses, such as its cloud services, and it's sure to heat the competition and take the fight to its Western rivals like OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

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