The idea of a driverless car would have seemed absurd 20 years ago. Not only was the technology nonexistent, but driving a car was a fantastic feeling that few would have been willing to give up.

Now the story is completely different. Rapid advances in driverless car technology have been achieved—by most accounts, Google has made the largest strides—and millennials don’t have that same emotional connection to driving that their parents do. In fact according to a recent survey, many millennials said they see driverless cars as a great place to throw parties.

Every year, we are seeing more and more signs that driverless cars are coming. On Monday a simulated city opened at the University of Michigan in which every vehicle will be driverless. The site will not only help driverless cars improve, but will also help legitimize the technology.

The day of driverless cars isn’t far off, according to numerous insiders. Most major automakers have said they’ll be available by 2020. Google has said that driverless cars will be available by 2018. The market will grow to US$42 billion by 2025 and will account for up to a quarter of global auto sales by 2035, according to the Boston Consulting Group.

So, that leaves one very important question unanswered: who are the big winners and losers from this technological revolution? Well, there’s one big winner in particular worth highlighting: BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY).

Why BlackBerry wins

BlackBerry is already deeply involved in the automotive industry thanks to its QNX operating system. QNX is regarded as a best-in-class option for infotainment systems, and has been winning market share away from competitors (this is not a common story for BlackBerry). Of particular note, BlackBerry generated some major buzz last year when QNX displaced Microsoft’s Sync 3 system in Ford vehicles.

QNX is in other vehicle brands too, including General Motors, Audi and Mercedes. Thus, BlackBerry already has built solid relationships with key players in the automotive industry. This will prove vital as the company aims for a piece of that US$42 billion pie.

But there’s another reason why BlackBerry stands to win: mobile security.

As we all know, security is becoming a top concern as more devices are being connected to the internet. Driverless cars are no exception. If a hacker were able to break in to a driverless car, then very sensitive information could be lost. A worst-case scenario involves a hacker being able to control the car itself.

This is where BlackBerry comes in. The company is still the world leader in securing mobile data—not even its competitors dispute that. So, BlackBerry has a key role to play in this market, one that will be made easier by its existing relationship with automakers.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy BlackBerry shares. But this opportunity is yet another reason why BlackBerry shareholders need to have a long-term view. So, if you’re good at riding out short-term noise, this stock may be for you.

There are still some big concerns with BlackBerry. But not with this company

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Fool contributor Benjamin Sinclair has no position in any stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Ford, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). Tom Gardner owns shares of Google (A shares) and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Google (A shares) and Google (C shares).