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Dependability, i.e. the capability of a system of delivering the expected service, is a fundamental requirement for safety-critical applications. It is becoming a very important matter in the automotive field. Indeed, car industries are planning to replace the traditional mechanical-hydraulic apparatus used for the execution of the driving commands with all-electric systems, the so-called drive-by-wire (DbW) systems, which are made of components that are not as reliable as the ones of the traditional apparatus. This paper, starting from the existing literature, provides at first a conceptual framework for the dependability topic. Then dependable architectures for DbW systems are presented. As a case of study, the steering maneuver is considered.