Baidu will launch its first electric vehicle model using its new conversational artificial intelligence (AI) technology, with the intention of providing a ChatGPT-like experience that enables natural conversation between owners and their vehicles, an executive from the company said on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the latest move by the Chinese technology giant to improve its core search engine business and drive widespread adoption of AI for a range of uses.

Details: Jidu Auto, the electric vehicle arm of Baidu, will be the first company to adopt AI technology at this level of sophistication for smart EVs, chief executive Xia Yiping told reporters at a corporate event in Beijing on Tuesday.

  • Xia reaffirmed the company’s plan to deliver its first production model, the Robo-01 sports utility vehicle (SUV), in the third quarter of 2023 with a “very competitive” price tag (our translation).
  • Launched in October, the crossover can travel around 600 kilometers (373 miles) on a single charge, as TechNode previously reported. Pricing details have so far only been revealed for a special edition version of the vehicle, which will start from RMB 399,800 ($55,245).
  • Xia said he was optimistic about the company’s sales growth in light of Tesla’s significant price cuts, adding that the sudden move reflected the US automaker’s waning competitiveness in the Chinese market.

READ MORE: Baidu’s EV firm Jidu aims to take on Tesla

Context: Baidu said on Feb. 7 that it has been pushing internal testing of its ChatGPT-like chatbot tool called ERNIE Bot, or Wenxin Yiyan, and intends for it to make a public debut next month.

  • OpenAI’s ChatGPT bot has sparked a craze in the Chinese internet space, prompting dozens of Chinese tech companies, including Alibaba, NetEase, and, to announce their own AI chatbots over the past month.
  • Media outlets and traditional businesses are also lining up to incorporate the latest AI technology into their services. Group, China’s biggest travel services provider, announced today it is among the first batch of partners listed to integrate Baidu’s chatbot technology into its service platform.

READ MORE: Alibaba, Baidu, NetEase, iFlytek…Chinese companies rushing to prove they have tech similar to ChatGPT

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: or Twitter: @yushan_shen