Saturday, November 26, 2011

Korea: "Why can't we do that?"

Prof. Yong-Du Jun, whom I mentioned in my post yesterday, apparently leads a team of researchers working to make Korean cars quieter inside. When I heard that, I could not help but think about this video, where the chairman of Volkswagen (at about 2:00 minutes) sits inside a Hyundai at a car show and gets frustrated because the car "sounds so tight" ("nichts scheppert"). He asks his colleague, "How do they do it? BMW can't do it, and we can't do it. Why can they do it?"

Prof. Jun swears it's not because of him.

On a related note, further evidence that the Koreans don't like noise can be found in their metros, where trains enter the station behind noise barriers, and double doors open (one set of doors on the noise barrier, and the other on the train) for people to get in and out. This Wikipedia entry claims that "platform screen doors" are "common in Europe and Asia," but it only gives a few instances in Europe. These things are everywhere in Seoul, and Japan had them all over as well when I was there 13 years ago.

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