Google patents a way for self-driving cars to understand a cyclist’s hand signals

The patent describes using a combination of sensors — a camera, LIDAR and RADAR — to collect a mountain of data on the environment surrounding the car. From this data, Google’s algorithms can determine whether a cyclist is present, and then identify parts of his or her body. Once Google has identified a cyclist’s hands and arms, it can recognize signals and act accordingly. So if a cyclist sticks out his or her arm to indicate a left turn, Google can recognize the motion and adjust the car’s speed or direction as necessary.