Google files patent to allow hand gestures to control car

Google files patent to allow hand gestures to control car

Driverless cars are still many years off. But Google is working on a system that would let a driver use hand gestures — polite ones — to control some functions in the car.

For instance, waving a hand in front of a window could raise or lower it. The driver could adjust the radio station or volume, and the air conditioning, with a turn of the hand.

Individual gestures – two pointing fingers, a closed fist, a thumbs up – would control different functions. The principle is similar to the way video games, such as Xbox Kinect, work.

The system uses a depth camera mounted on the roof and a laser scanner to read the gestures.

The technology could be a step on the way to driverless cars, Geekwire notes. It could be a way for Google to build relationships with automakers and drivers before trying to replace the driver entirely, says writer Blair Hanley Frank.

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