Those brave roboticists from Stanford University have decided to tackle the final automotive frontier - commuting. The robotics group whose autonomous VW Touareg, Stanley (pictured), won the DARPA Grand Challenge desert race last year, are building a car that will drive itself at highway speeds from San Francisco City hall to downtown Los Angeles in October 2007.

Professor Sebastian Thrun, the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, and one of the sparkplugs of the DARPA Grand Challenge project, envisions robotic cars driving commuters to work, perhaps within the next five to ten years.

The as yet unnamed SF/LA car, probably a VW Passat wagon, will have a human co-driver, who will be able to override the robotic pilot in much the same way as we take over from our cars' cruise control systems.