Volvo's Samuelsson says Level 3 autonomous vehicles are unsafe (Photo: Volvo Cars)

Governments and carmakers should share traffic data to improve global traffic safety, Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said Monday.

Speaking at a European Union conference on connected and automated driving, the Volvo chief said the Swedish carmaker has, for two years already, been sharing anonymized data with local  authorities in Sweden and Norway.

"We think this type of data sharing should be done for free, for the greater good and to the wider benefit of society," Samuelsson said. "I call on other carmakers and governments to work with us."

Using a cloud-based network, Volvos in Sweden and Norway can advise other connected Volvo vehicles of icy road conditions ahead, or they can warn drivers when a vehicle ahead has turned on its hazard lights.

Samuelsson also repeated the Swedish car brand's opinion that so-called Level 3 autonomous driving, where the car drives itself but drivers must be prepared to take over at any time, is unsafe.

Volvo will skip this level and launch Level 4 autonomous vehicles from 2021 onwards. Such cars can manage emergency situations and can drive completely unsupervised on certain roads.

Several car brands, including Volvo, Ford, Renault-Nissan and others are targeting dates around 2021 for the commercial introduction of Level 4 autonomous vehicles.