There was an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune the other day about new technology that could enable drivers to operate cars with hand gestures. Google has apparently already purchased a company called Flutter that makes software that allows people with webcams to operate Netflix and other apps by making signs. The article didn’t offer many specifics as to how this new car technology would work. Point left to turn left?
Motorcycle riders have been making signs for ages, especially when they ride in groups. Leaders use hand signals to tell others in the group to slow down, watch out for road hazards or stop for refreshments. The signals are fairly standard from group to group. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has a downloadable chart on its website that demonstrates the gestures far better than I can describe them.
I can’t imagine (but I could be wrong) that the day will come when motorcyclists drive their bikes by gestures. Although the bigger cruisers can be equipped with cruise control, most of the bikers I’ve met are “hands on” types who like to do their own mechanical work and stay in control of the bike at all times.
There’s one gesture that I know will never be replaced by an “app.” It’s the biker-to-biker greeting like the one we received on our trip around Lake Superior last summer.