The van drove through the desert of central California. Scorched earth from controlled burns lined one side of the dirt road we were traveling on. Sure, this pickup needed some new shocks. The 105 degree heat hit us as we rounded some brush and fell on a barren airstrip. A hangar with an adjacent jumble of trailers lining one side of a runway. There you go: an airplane that looked like it came straight out of a sci-fi comic book. With its six propellers, it wasn't a typical helicopter, but it wasn't an airplane either. What we were looking at was Joby Aviation's electrical solution for air travel - what's called an eVTOL plane, which stands for vertical plug electric take off and landing. As the name suggests, the plane can take off and land like a helicopter but flylike an airplane. It is significantly safer, significantly faster and significantly quieter than the helicopters that exist today, Paul Sciarra, Executive chairman of Joby Aviation and co-founder of Pinterest, told CNN Business, although Sciarra's claims could not be immediately verified. Electric trains have been commuting between passengers for over a century. . Electric cars have been around for almost as long, although they have seen a boom in the last decade. But while the age of aviation appeared at the turn of the 20th century, it has since relied almost entirely on the internal combustion of petroleum products. For decades, commercial air transport has also largely had the same appearance. Despite advances in aerodynamics and fuel consumption, it has yet to overcome the two challenges.x major problems of noise and air pollution. In fact, in 2019, air travel accounted for about three percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States - the highest since the pre-2008 recession, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, Although passenger cars still account for the bulk of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions at nearly 12% .Joby says his eVTOL aircraft could be the solution for a cheaper, quieter and cheaper means of commercial flight. more environmentally friendly. I think this service really allows people to rethink the way we thought about transportation, which has generally been thought of in two dimensions, and really bring it to three dimensions, said Sciarra . company 's website , for example, it touts the ability to travel from Los Angeles Airport to Newport Beach (a distance of about 35 miles during the flight of the eVTOL aircraft) in just 15 minutes, compared to about an hour more when driving. This could be very appealing to LA drivers who spent an average of 119 hours in traffic in 2017, according to a report from Texas A&M Transportation Institute . We don 't have the congestion problems in the sky because we have another axis with which work, said Sciarra. Of course, a similar ride could be done with a helicopter, but companies like Joby predict thateVTOL could make those trips cheaper and therefore more accessible. Electric vehicles often have fewer moving parts than a combustion engine, which means less maintenance, according to the US Department of Energy. And electric batteries not only reduce carbon emissions, but they can also lower energy costs compared to traditional jet fuel. At launch, passengers should expect the cost of flying on one of the eVTOLs. of the company is about four dollars per passenger-mile, Sciarra said, adding that he expects the cost per mile to drop to three dollars within two years. If this is true and eVTOL planes can roughly match the cost of ground transportation, there is reason to believe they could reduce the number of idling cars in traffic. Silence in the desert Skipping traffic and choosing to fly is nothing newto the concept. Since the 1950s, many companies have been offering regular and on-demand services of short to medium distance. In many cities that are already helipads that are there. But unfortunately they are not used very frequently, and that 's largely because of the noise from the helicopters, said Sciarra, which is supported by research from NASA. Joby spent nearly a decade tinkering with the design so that the plane could blend in with the background noise of any working city and take advantage of this infrastructure that sort of sits under our noses. As I stood watching the the plane took off and was buzzing in figure eight, it sounded remarkably quiet. At its strongest, the plane makes 65 decibels, according to Sciarra, which roughly matches the sound of an air conditioner. At about 50 meters, the six propellers of the 'plane taking off reminded me of the rapid roarof my little recreational drone, and by the time it was a quarter mile away, it was silent. On the flyover, the aircraft noise was noticeable but not annoying compared to traditional planes. Joby's quest for a quieter, greener plane also caught the attention of NASA, which had a team in sight. during my visit to monitor aircraft noise. You usually have to remind people that the first 'A ' in NASA is aeronautics, said Starr Ginn, campaign manager national report from NASA to CNN Business. It is important to understand what the sound signatures of these planes look like because we want to understand how we will integrate the operations into the community. At its peak, the plane makes 65 decibels, according to Joby, which roughly corresponds to the noise of 'an air conditioner. (John General / CNN) A crowded industry In 2020, Joby received the very first airworthiness certification for a US Air Force eVTOL aircraft, aiming for full approval FAA in 2023, the company said. To make it happen, Jo by 's landed a strategic partnership with Toyota that invested $ 394 million in the company while contributingt its expertise in manufacturing. Additionally, Uber invested $ 75 million after Joby acquired its Elevate team, the rideshare company's former eVTOL initiative. Joby's partnership with Uber will allow the company to offer its eVTOL service directly in the Uber app, but Joby also plans to have its own direct-to-consumer app, according to Sciarra. went public on the New York Stock Exchange, becoming one of the first publicly traded eVTOL companies. At the time of publication, they are valued at over $ 5.5 billion. Before reaching a commercial launch, however, Joby will face an increasingly crowded market with other eVTOL companies. American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic order electric air taxis from British startup Astro Aerospace, Volocopter and Vertical Aerospace, among others , all work on their own electric fleets for taxi customers. They also have many iRenowned investors. Vertical Aerospace, which is based in the UK and also plans to go public this year, already has pre-orders for its American Airlines eVTOL aircraft from Virgin Atlantic, as previously reported by CNN Business . So far no company has been given permission to carry commercial passengers. As I came out of the desert and my wheels rolled on the scorching asphalt, the loud hum of freeway traffic was already within earshot.