Documents show that a sensor is placed on the ceiling of the car. A depth camera and laser scanners allows gestures to be recognized from the computational system. This allows a different human interaction with the car. For example, one can wave their hands at the windows and the windows will open. A movement at the radio unit can allow you to increase the volume or change the frequency of the radio.
Furthermore, it shows how Google is moving away from standard touch based computer interfacing. It is indeed interesting to see us being able to control various functions in the car just by simply moving our hands.
However, this technique is not conventionally used in cards. It may require some time for drivers to learn about the system. It may also cause some sort of driver distractions while driver as well, but if this was to be applied to unmanned vehicles, its will be much more practical. Maybe this is the direction which Google is going towards.
Last week, Google also acquired a tech startup company named “Flutter” who specializes in Hand Gestures. Maybe this patent is submitted based on Flutter’s technology.