Sales of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles are expected to ramp up dramatically by by 2025 with a staggering 76 million self-driving vehicles roaming roadways internationally by 2035, according to a recent forecast by IHS Automotive.

“Increasing competition from the high-tech and other industries is accelerating the auto industry’s autonomous software and cybersecurity development efforts,” said Jeremy Carlson, principal analyst at IHS.

A synergy between several modern technologies will likely promote acceptance and usage of driverless and self-driving cars. For instance, your smart phone can play a key role in ensuring that you depart for and arrive at your destination on time by syncing your calendar, maps and real-time traffic data with the vehicle’s computer.

Once en route, your vehicle can provide a hotspot for your laptop or tablet device, ensuring connectivity–and an uneventful, automated drive to the office can allow you to prepare for the day and accomplish some work during your commute.

Not long ago, park-distance sensors and back-up cameras were privy to those who ponied up big money for luxury cars. Within a decade, these technologies have filtered down to even the most inexpensive cars available on the market.

In much the same way, autonomous drive technology is being unveiled on the most desirable and expensive premium cars, but in time, all vehicles for sale will offer at least some autonomous drive capability.

“Future mobility will connect and combine many different modes and technologies, and autonomous vehicles will play a central role,” adds Carlson while giving a glimpse at what our world could look like two decades from now.

In a stark warning, he elaborates, “Those who don’t adjust to a changing world will unfortunately be left behind, or will at least face a very different industry.”

Barriers to the proliferation of autonomous cars include consumer acceptance, insurance liability concerns, legal regulation from local to international courtrooms, and cyber-security. Researchers have factored these stumbling blocks into their calculations, and have still concluded that the future of our automobiles is largely autonomous.

Car enthusiasts, professional drivers and racers of all stripes are likely to find this news disconcerting–but regulators and manufacturers have been quick to dispel fears, promising that motorsports and 3-pedal back-road Sunday drives will still have their place.

(IHS Automotive with photo from Nissan)