The automobile sector, which once had lengthy development cycles, is currently being disrupted by China's internet titans. Nowadays, there are so many new electric vehicle brands that it is difficult to keep up. Only a year ago, Baidu and its Chinese auto partner Geely created Jidu, a brand of electric vehicles. With the partnership of Chinese automaker Geely, and search engine, Baidu, expanded its fleet of vehicles and established a firm to build electric vehicles. While Geely is in charge of automobile design and production, Baidu, a major participant in China's internet search sector for the past ten years or more, offers smart driving technologies.
Although Jidu has advanced at an impressive rate, its technology may be questioned by some as being unreliable. The quick cycle, the automaker claimed, is due to its method of developing its smart cockpit and autonomous driving systems using a virtual prototype car as opposed to testing individual hardware components in a mass-produced vehicle. The automaker claimed that its Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities for city and highway roads have been tried and proven in as little as nine months. The EV firm is also placing a lot of emphasis on branding and fan communities, two areas where its rival Nio excels. It began recruiting auto enthusiasts to join its "Jidu Union" in December last year and going forward, Jidu will recruit and train professionals with expertise in technologies such as autonomous driving and smart manufacturing.
Since 2017, Baidu has been actively pursuing autonomous driving. Its Apollo ecosystem (an advanced payment solution) has amassed more than a hundred manufacturing and supply partners and is marketed as "an Android for smart driving." Baidu has also been developing autonomous vehicles and launched a fleet of robotaxis. Jidu Auto introduced the Robo-01, its first production model, in a special edition in October 2022. Jidu asserts that Baidu's self-driving technology will allow the vehicle to navigate both highways and urban areas. It will give car owners a point-to-point autonomous experience beginning in several large Chinese cities where a high-definition map database is accessible.
With a premium positioning and a focus on its strengths in autonomous driving technology, Jidu Auto is the latest in a long line of Chinese firms to challenge Tesla. Jidu's CEO, Xia Yiping, has said in interviews with the media that the new automaker can compete with Tesla by using the data and algorithm expertise of its parent firm. Xia, a former tech head for in-car connectivity at Fiat Chrysler, stated that he thinks China's automakers are only getting started in their quest to develop intelligent vehicles. A capability akin to Tesla's Full Self-Driving that enables vehicles to operate on both highways and city streets was unveiled by Competitor Xpeng Motors last September. A week later, Arcfox, a Huawei partner, released its Navigation Cruise Assist (NCA) software in close succession.
Jidu Auto EV
Where ChatGPT Comes In
Baidu's ChatGPT-like offering will soon be available in electric and self-driving vehicles. The company says when they start delivering vehicles to clients, Jidu's advanced driver assistance features, including those for highways and city streets, will be completely ready. All Robo-01 iterations will have lidar sensors and be compatible with all of Jidu's intelligent features. The first Jidu flagship store already opened in Shanghai, with expansion planned to 46 other domestic cities during 2023.
In terms of charging networks, Jidu will in addition to setting up showrooms and service centers, create a number of charging stations. Nevertheless, in order to increase reach, the EV brand will look to engage with public EV charge point providers. Jidu is using in-car technologies and the Apollo system from Baidu, and it has the financial backing of Geely and Baidu. Jidu plans to merge Apollo with Baidu's ChatGPT-like Ernie bot, or Ernie bot (English bot). According to the firm, the integrated technology will enhance users' interaction with the vehicle. Voice control is often present in so-called smart cars, including Jidu's proposed model.
Prior to making its Ernie bot available to the public, Baidu stated last week that it anticipated finishing internal testing of the bot in March. How the product's capabilities compare to ChatGPT, which is created by Microsoft-backed Open AI, is still unknown.