Gesture control has been increasingly applied to automotive industry to reduce the distraction caused by in-vehicle interactions to the primary task of driving. The aim of this study is to find out if gestures can reasonably be used to control in-car devices. Since there exists a big cultural difference of gesture between different countries because of its particularity, a set of gestures which support intuitive human-machine interaction in an automotive environment is searched. The results show a gesture dictionary for a variety of on-board functions, which conforms to Chinese drivers’ driving habits. Furthermore, this paper also describes a driving simulator test to evaluate the usability of gesture from different aspects including the effectiveness, efficiency, satisfaction, memorability and security. Static driving simulator is considered as an excellent environment for the in-car secondary task as its high safety level, repeatability and reliability. Besides, this research involves the eye tracking of drivers while they are using different interactions and the result shows that gesture control can fulfill the interactive demand of drivers in some tasks with little visual resource. According to the test result, we can verify the practicability of in-car gesture control and provide reference for the application of gesture control inside the car in the future.