Dealerships may be dabbling in ChatGPT right now, but some of their technology providers believe adoption will happen swiftly.

“I think we’re talking a year to a year and a half where [ChatGPT is] doing a huge amount of the car-buying process itself in an automated way,” Horwitz said.

IMG05

TruVideo — maker of a messaging, video and AI platform for dealerships — added ChatGPT to its communications software and started a rollout of its updated technology in April, said CEO Joe Shaker.

Shaker, who is also owner of Shaker Auto Group in New England, said the technology enables the platform to respond to customers and provide assistance.

An initial rollout of the enhanced ChatGPT to 200 dealerships elicited positive feedback, he said.

By the end of 2023, Shaker expects dealerships to move from being curious and excited about the technology’s potential to a much wider adoption rate as ChatGPT is woven into dealership systems.

“It will touch every department more or less to an extent,” Shaker said. “I think it’s going to be incredible … a lot of people won’t even realize they’re using ChatGPT.”

VanDyke did not disagree, but he cautioned that the process of incorporating ChatGPT into a dealership can be complex, and there will be bumps along the way.

“It’s an extremely exciting time, and it’s moving extremely rapidly, but [it] requires expertise on the side of vendors — meaning you can’t just take your chat tool and plug in ChatGPT,” VanDyke said. “We’re looking carefully at who are the companies who are very smartly programming the underlying tech to work for their systems.”

While not naming specific companies, VanDyke said he had seen “examples” of some that were trying to implement ChatGPT technology for dealerships or automakers and then have it accidentally promote competitors.

“It’s an iterative process,” he said. “There are definitely products on the market that are working today and working successfully, and there is a huge rush of everybody else who is trying to get into the space and figure it out.”

Shaker, in a follow-up email to Automotive Newsoffered similar sentiment.

“As the use of ChatGPT continues to gain momentum, it’s becoming clear that this powerful language model has a wide range of applications,” Shaker wrote. “However, it’s also becoming evident that the tool has its limitations, particularly when it comes to meeting the unique demands of certain industries.”

That includes the auto industry, Shaker said, because it requires “a high level of precision” in terms of information about the latest vehicles. ChatGPT isn’t always going to be up to date or accurate, he said, which means the industry will need “custom training, prompt engineering and the integration of other AI models” to support its specific needs.