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These 'blind' automotive world record stunts have to stop

Are these meaningful? Our man says no.

Drivers setting world records "blind" – wearing a blindfold or with something obscuring the windshield – is the new thing for some reason. First it was an Alfa Romeo Giulia setting a blind lap at Silverstone with help from a spotter trailing behind, and now this: a stunt man doing a J-turn within a narrow path with nothing but a Nissan Juke's cameras guiding him. He matched the "sighted" J-turn record, flipping the car around in a space about 7 inches longer than the car.

I have two issues with these stunts. First, there are just too many world records. Yeah, I said it. Are these meaningful? Is someone else likely to ever attempt this feat? No, because it's just marketing, both for the manufacturer and whoever's still trying to sell those annual books. Stuff like the fastest production car is fine with me. Heck, I'll even take unofficial Nürburgring times – the kind where the drivers can actually see.

Second, I'm all for stunts, but do something cool! And preferably something that could only be performed with that particular car, if you're going to make an ad out of it. Yes, the Juke has an Around View Monitor system, which stitches together feeds from four cameras to make it look like the car is being filmed by a drone hovering overhead. I happen to love 360-degree cameras – they let you see things that are just not visible from the driver's seat and make parking and low-speed maneuvering really easy. But the Juke isn't the first car to offer one, and the feature isn't even new to the car.

Nissan was at least forthright enough to admit that this professional driver (on a closed course!) had a bunch of practice. But this really says more about his precision driving skills than about the car, or the camera. And just so we're clear, you really shouldn't try to park a car without looking out the windows, even if you have fancy cameras.

So what's next? Pretty soon there will be a record for blindest blind stunt. Let me know when someone actually does something interesting.

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