Autonomous vehicles would make the future roads safer by keeping the human driver out of the loop. However, reduced degree of human-control could result in loss of the feeling of driving for some drivers. Therefore, in this study we proposed a method of interaction between the driver and autonomous vehicle by allowing the driver to control the vehicle's lateral and longitudinal motions. We adopted hand gestures as input modality because it can reduce driver's visual and cognitive demands. We first derived seven fundamental vehicle maneuvers to improve driver experience, and related them to seven independent hand gestures. We then created a hand gesture interface to control an autonomous vehicle, using Leap Motion as the gesture recognition platform. We conducted driving experiments involving twenty drivers in a virtual reality driving simulator to investigate the effectiveness of this interface for vehicle control. We evaluated the driving experience and drivers' opinions regarding the gestural interface. The results proved that semi-autonomous controlling using the hand gesture interface significantly reduced drivers' perceived workload.