Weather. Conditions that a human might manage to navigate could be too much for a self-driving car.
I doubt it. Now, there may be conditions that go beyond that of the capabilities of a self-driving car and cause it to stop/pull over... but those would be well beyond a human anyway.
We have a joke here in New England about the guy that hands his coffee to his wife saying"Now watch this!"
Or would the vision systems of self-driving cars, be they lasers or radar or infrared or ultrasonic or a combination or whatever, be able to see through the weather far better than humans?
It will be a combination. Lasers, and radar, and temperature, and ultraviolet, and infrared and vision (cameras)... all working together, all confirming and co-ordinating.
And yes, it will be far better "sensing" than any human's "sensing."
Or, at least, it would be if I programmed it
I am still amazed that people get into airplanes know it's a snowstorm at their destination or horrible icy conditions at takeoff.
Ethical issues. An example from How to Help Self-Driving Cars Make Ethical Decisions: "A child suddenly dashing into the road, forcing the self-driving car to choose between hitting the child or swerving into an oncoming van."
Extremely interesting. Don't such ethical issues exist right now? Is there even a right answer?
Unknown occupants in the oncoming van vs. known child. Van's doing what it's supposed to be doing vs. child not understanding what they're "supposed" to be doing.
Imagine the liability if the car's autonomous systems directed the car into the path of an oncoming van to avoid a beach ball. Just how good will the car's recognition systems be?
Have to be better than that, or I'm not driving one.
I am reminded of a question we all heard about when applying for Conscious Objection Status for the Vietnam War. The draft boards, apparently in trying to get you to fail their questions, would ask you "Suppose you're driving your children on a mountain road with nothing on the right side and you come around a curve and there in the road is your grandmother lying in the road trying to get up. Do you hit her or drive the kids over the cliff?" Joan Baez had an answer for us: "Wow - I totally freak out and lose control, hit my grandmother dead and veer over the fatal cliff, landing on the town below and set it on fire, killing hundreds!"