CoRaLi-DAR aims at developing an advanced detection and ranging sensor system based on a collaborative scheme, integrating on the same module both radio and light-based sensing. The module will consist of: a silicon photonics solid-state light detection and ranging (LiDAR) chip with integrated laser source and driver electronics; a CMOS radio detection and ranging (RADAR) chip connected to a single transmitting (Tx) and receiving (Rx) set of antennas; a processing unit (PU) to actively control the two sensors and process the generated data. The LiDAR and RADAR chip will be integrated on the same printed circuit board (PCB) avoiding any use of free space optics. The proposed architecture will allow an active cooperation of the two sensors through an advanced algorithm installed on the PU. With this approach we exploit the LiDAR’s high-resolution capabilities, and the RADAR’s strong reliability in adverse weather conditions; reducing power consumption, packaging size and manufacturing cost compared to the state of the art.


The proposed CoRaLi-DAR system will be developed focusing on the automotive market, more specifically for ADAS application. The functionalities of detection and ranging that will be performed by this sensor system can serve a key role in enhancing driving safety and move closer to fully autonomous driving. LiDAR and RADAR can cover together various detection ranges: from the short (<40m) to the long one (>200m). By positioning it in different areas of the car, the sensor can be optimized to cover distinct roles: in front and on the back of the vehicle it enables safe adaptive cruise control, on the side of the car it can be used for assisted emergency braking and blind spot monitoring. Employed in a diversified car sensor network can ultimately be used both in highways and city roads to achieve complete autonomous driving.
The CoRaLi-DAR sensor will ensure high spatial resolution thanks to the LiDAR; reliability and robustness thanks to the RADAR; fast and precise measurements with the smart sensor management performed by the sensor fusion algorithm. These characteristics make the proposed advanced multi-sensor system the ideal solution for any outdoor application, not only in the automotive sector. Considering the broader mobility sector, this system can find use in different land or air transportation applications. Furthermore, together with the mobility related applications, other markets might be addressed as well: environmental monitoring and mapping via drone; robotics; gesture recognition and vital sign measurement; replacing security cameras.


CoRaLi-DAR aims to strengthen European leadership and to foster open strategic autonomy thanks to the development of a multi-sensing photonic system for the automotive industry first, and for further application afterwards. Therefore, CoRaLi-DAR enhances and improves the existing value chain in the field of photonics by creating a single module integrating 2 chips to combine two technologies: RADAR and LiDAR to optimize the benefits from both technologies. The approach followed by CoRaLi-DAR decreases size and enhances cost effectiveness of manufacturing sensors in the automotive sector, and leads to lower material intensity by 50% and lower power consumption, by a factor of 2, associated to integrated multi-sensing photonic systems. This proposition is aligned with the Green Deal objectives as it helps transforming the EU into a modern, resource efficient and competitive economy. This project brings silicon photonics from a mainly datacom-focused technology, to a mainstream electronic-like do-it-all platform, which can help lower the barrier to entry and access to this technology for European companies and increase accessibility. This specifically helps the Digital Decade Initiatives, as it supports broadening access to technology for different companies, especially enhancing automotive capacities to utilize this technology. EU Industrial Strategy is also engaged as key European photonics capacities are enhanced and spread as part of the project’s dissemination and exploitation approach; the semiconductor industry is one of 6 strategic areas tackled in this strategy, which is directly addressed by this project. CoRaLi-DAR is also particularly relevant as the market trends showcase an important growth in the next years: “The semiconductor value in cars will grow from $34.4B in 2020 to $78.5B in 2026”24. Moreover, to remain competitive, Tier-1s have to master the three primary sensors (camera, RADAR, LiDAR) and therefore the initiative CoRaLi-DAR represents a great opportunity for Researchers and Scientists, as well as Industry, to be more competitive. Indeed, Photonics in Europe demonstrates strong growth and innovation. The EU Photonics industry grew from € 76 bn (2015) to € 103 bn in 2019 – which corresponds to a growth rate of 7% (CAGR) and a multiple of 3x EU GDP growth (2,3%). In 2020, European Photonics maintained its # 2 global market share position behind China. Therefore, CoRaLi-DAR contributes to enhance European leadership on emerging technologies and more specifically on photonics/electronics and sensors development applied to the automotive sector. CoRaLi-DAR combines the expertise of research centers as well as industry. Moreover, the close connection to Photonics21 PPP association and to specialized photonics clusters (See Ref. Table 2.3) emphasizes the value of the project, which is fully aligned to the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of the European Photonics Working Group 4 on Photonics for a healthy, green and digital future.