Great Wall is teaming up with Baidu to explore the use of Ernie's AI model technology in its production vehicles.

(A car displayed by Great Wall Motor's brand during the April 2023 Shanghai auto show. Image credit: CnEVPost)

As China's tech industry gets excited about artificial intelligence (AI) models, the technology is about to be introduced to the automotive industry as well.

Baidu has entered into a partnership with Chinese auto giant Great Wall Motor, which will explore integrating Baidu's foundational AI model Ernie in its vehicles, according to a press release from the tech giant today.

Foundational models are AI trained on massive amounts of data, and were highly talked about at OpenAI's ChatGPT earlier this year when it sparked AI mania.

The latest iteration of Baidu's model is called Ernie 3.5, which the company said in late June outperformed ChatGPT and GPT 4 in several key areas.

Great Wall will work with Baidu to explore the use of the foundational model technology in production vehicles, according to a Baidu press release.

The two will work together to create intelligent natural voice interaction applications, which are expected to be used in Great Wall's production cars, providing consumers with a better experience, Baidu said.

In addition to Great Wall, Baidu has also entered into a similar partnership with -backed tech startup Ecarx.

Baidu has been exploring in-vehicle interaction scenarios with Great Wall and Ecarx respectively, based on foundational model capabilities, to complete the validation of a number of innovative features on production model platforms, the company said.

Some of these features are expected to be carried on production models of Great Wall, Lynk & Co, and Smart in the future, Baidu said.

Baidu announced Ernie earlier this year, and on the first day of the Shanghai auto show on April 18, Baidu demonstrated Ernie-based features for in-vehicle scenarios, including trip planning, car consulting, knowledge quizzing, and drawing.

Ernie can realize the interaction through the way of dialogue, allowing the car to have emotion and intelligence, to meet the deeper needs of users in the car, Baidu said.

In the automotive industry, some carmakers are already exploring bringing AI models to the cockpit.

Jidu Auto, Baidu's car-making arm, announced on February 14 that it will leverage Ernie to create an AI interaction experience for smart car scenarios to enable natural communication.

(NASDAQ: LI) unveiled progress in the development of its in-vehicle voice assistant, Lixiang Tongxue, at its inaugural Family Technology Day event on June 17, saying it built cognitive foundational model Mind GPT to make the feature smarter.

With the help of Mind GPT, Lixiang Tongxue can turn into a user's teacher, a professional car concierge, and an expert at teaching drawing and programming, Li Auto said at the time. Li Auto didn't announce whether its AI model was trained by the company in-house or provided by a vendor.

(NYSE: XPEV) hasn't made any recent announcements about its progress in the use of AI technology, but the company said in an analyst call on March 17 after it reported its fourth-quarter earnings last year that it expects more integration of GPT-related technology with various parts of the company's business.

Artificial intelligence, represented by GPT, holds great promise and will have a new interpretation of how autonomous driving is achieved, Xpeng management said at the time, adding that it could enable L4 autonomous driving to move faster to L5.

(NYSE: NIO) filed several trademark applications related to GPT in May, including Nio GPT, NOMI GPT, and Knowme GPT. The company's in-car voice assistant is called NOMI.

Haomo's self-driving ambitions leap forward with launch of DriveGPT