Mohammed Hikmet is one of those people with determination at his core, seeing through restrictions and challenging situations to find the opportunities that lie beyond. Born in Iraq, Mohammed ran a computer shop with his brother, Ahmed. But, when the Gulf War started, he knew it was time to leave to seek a better future for his family, creating a business in Jordan before ultimately relocating to New Zealand. In 1996, Mohammed moved to New Zealand with his family, completing an electronic engineering diploma at AIT while delivering pizzas at night. By 1998, he’d started a computer repair business, with Ahmed joining him in 1999. The business evolved to manufacture electronic road signs in 2002, establishing ties with Chinese factories. Mohammed eventually spent four years in China founding his own factory to ensure quality in the supply chain. In 2015, Mohammed realised that the likely emergence of autonomous vehicles would eventually reduce the need for road signs and visual communication with drivers. This led to him forming a consortium, in January 2017, with Christchurch Airport, Christchurch City Council, Canterbury University, Ministry of Transport and NZTA to bring the first autonomous vehicle to Australasia. After invitations to partner with vehicle manufacturers to create cooperative applications were rejected, Mohammed chose to create his own opportunity. He established an AI team with the goal to build his own autonomous vehicle in New Zealand. After nine months of development, HMI Technologies achieved the first commercial delivery of a New Zealand autonomous vehicle in 2019.