Add this to the list of funny and interesting things that Google Street View cameras have recorded — a camera capturing its own demise.
I spotted one of Google’s Street View cars apparently losing its camera near where I live, in Suffern, New York. Everything’s fine as the car travels westbound on Haverstraw Road (you can try this out yourself here):
As you click “forward” to advance along the route, suddenly the camera leans:
Then it leans more:
And keeps going:
After that, everything’s back to normal.
What’s weird is that if you look at the “before” frame and compare to the “after” ones, you’ll see that car goes from being on a two way road with a single lane in either direction to driving along what appears to be a single way road with two lanes going in the same direction.
It’s clear the camera fell over at some point, and it’s recorded as happening at this spot, though in reality exactly where it happened is anyone’s guess.
Here’s a video where I show how to click through the images on Google Maps:
At least in this case, no one appears to have been hurt, unlike the case last year when a Google Street View car recorded itself hitting a deer that ran out in front of it.
Postscript: Google sent us this additional information:
Our Street View cameras are built on a mast that is able to be raised/lowered/angled by our car drivers — for things like going under bridges/overpasses, to more easily do camera tweaking, or when storing overnight. So it looks like in this case, the mast may have tilted or come a bit loose – the camera did not actually “fall off”, and nobody was injured! (In fact, every few months a story will circulate about us “hitting an overpass” because the images show the camera suddenly at strange angles under a bridge, but it’s actually because the driver did his duty and lowered/tilted it, but may not have shut off the camera from still photographing).