Be careful photographing self-driving cars

Discussion in 'News' started by movingfinger, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. It appears that the lasers used by self-driving cars can damage digital camera sensors. So, should you be inclined to photograph such new technology be careful. See this article which gives a real world example. Forewarned is forearmed, article is here.
  2. And it doesn't damage people eyes?
    SSepan likes this.
  3. If some idiot designer uses lasers of the wrong wavelength, definitely. It could also happen if a laser of a retina-safe wavelength malfunctions and puts out too much power.
  4. Well I can't see a laser that can damage the camera but not eyes. So if it can damage eyes then shouldn't be illegal?
  5. According to the article, the laser is specifically designed NOT to damage human eyes. Apparently it operates at a wavelength that while safe to eyes can damage digital camera sensors.
  6. It's not so simple, as I found out in the 1980s when I was at UCLA doing research on human speech. I proposed to use LEDs for some measurements, and had to get approval from a committee on research on human subjects. A member of the committee, unfortunately, confused LEDs with lasers, something which would be much less likely nowadays. He made me jump through a few hoops before I could have my proposal approved.

    Bebu you might want to look at this, which gives a short description of the situation with laser pointers. They present similar concerns.
  7. There's also the subject of person-to-person differences. When I go to a meeting at which someone is using a laser pointer, I try to avoid looking at the screen when the laser is on it, but I always leave the meeting with painful eyes. I appear to be over-sensitive to that flavor of light. :-(

    BTW, Hector, until a few years ago I had to shepherd 3-4 projects a year through our own IRBs (Institutional Review Boards, for those lucky enough not to be familiar with them.) At one point I spent quite a while explaining (to physicians at that) why blowing into a tube ("spirometry") didn't present any untoward dangers to patients' health. :)
    Hector Javkin likes this.
  8. In my day job, the most powerful I regularly interact with is your garden variety HeNe gas discharge laser. With that said, we have some significantly more powerful ones kicking around work, and I'm reminded of a sign I saw posted somewhere a while back:

    "Warning: Do not stare directly into Laser with remaining eye"
  9. What about the laser beam reflecting off of something directly to the camera sensor? Is that a valid concern?
  10. what about the laser beam affecting the eyes of critters? particularly dogs and cats!

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