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Great Wall Motor and Baidu Team Up for AI-Integrated Cars

Great Wall Motor (GWM), the Chinese automaker, is introducing Baidu’s AI system, similar to ChatGPT, into its mass-market cars to enable seamless conversation between drivers and vehicles, according to a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP). This collaboration between GWM and Baidu aims to make cars more intelligent and user-friendly.

Baidu’s AI model, known as Ernie Bot, is positioned as a Chinese competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. GWM stated that they have been testing innovative features in their mass-produced vehicles, and these features will gradually be incorporated into commercial use on a wider scale.

Baidu has been heavily investing in AI, with a particular focus on the development of its language model, Ernie. The company announced a substantial investment of $140 million (1 billion yuan) to support Chinese startups working on generative AI.

In their pursuit of enhancing the in-car experience, Baidu recently revealed that their Ernie 3.5 beta has shown significant progress, outperforming both ChatGPT (3.5) and GPT-4 in various Chinese language skills.

GWM and Baidu have been working together using the latest iteration of the Ernie model to research applications of this advanced language model in intelligent in-car interactions. They have already identified many novel features that can be implemented in their upcoming vehicle models.

During the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2023, Baidu Apollo, the autonomous driving solutions platform of the Chinese search giant, showcased various intelligent driving technologies based on the ERNIE model. These applications included journey planning, in-car entertainment, knowledge Q&A, and AI sketching.

The demand for intelligent solutions in the automotive industry is growing rapidly, as consumers and manufacturers alike seek more intuitive interfaces, expanded functionalities, and smoother driving experiences. Other Chinese manufacturers, such as Lynk and Smart, have also expressed their intentions to incorporate Ernie Bot technology into their vehicles.

However, GWM has not disclosed which specific car models will first include the built-in Ernie Bot technology or provided a timeline for its release. Additionally, Baidu is actively exploring opportunities to integrate Ernie Bot into other businesses, including its cloud services, to compete with Western rivals like OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, and Apple in the AI market.