The industry strategy for automotive safety systems has been evolving over the last 20 years. Initially, individual passive devices and features such as seatbelts, airbags, knee bolsters, crush zones, etc. were developed for saving lives and minimizing injuries when an accident occurs. Later, preventive measures such as improving visibility, headlights, windshield wipers, tire traction, etc. were deployed to reduce the probability of getting into an accident. Now we are at the stage of actively avoiding accidents as well as providing maximum protection to the vehicle occupants and even pedestrians. Systems that are on the threshold of being deployed or under intense development include collision detection / warning / intervention systems, lane departure warning, drowsy driver detection, and advanced safety interiors.In this paper, we will discuss the concept of the safety state diagram, a unified view of the automotive safety system, and the technologies that are required to implement this vision. Advanced ideas such as pre-crash sensing, anticipatory crash sensing, X-by-wire systems, advanced safety interiors, integrated vehicle electrical/electronics systems, data networks, and mobile multimedia (telematics) will also be addressed.