I'd throw an idea out there (apologies for yet another autonomous/ideas thread) of a possible way to improve the autonomous experience. Particularly in poor or less than ideal road conditions.
The scenario is that a driver plots a path on the map A to B. Lets say from home to work.
Autonomous mapping would take a video of the path from home to your work place and gather data on road width, condition, turns, intersections, line condition or missing lines (then render a perceived edge of road). A recording could be taken in a variety of conditions with more recordings improving the ability to correctly generate an accurate virtual lane.
This generated render of a virtual lane would then compare against the real time autonomous camera system. Detecting the white lines in middle of road and edge, in good conditions or bad.
The mapping would compare changing road conditions against GPS data. A vehicle could either process internally a limited number of autonomous maps or upload the data to process of site.
You could specify what the speed limit is at various points. How aggressive/relaxed you would like the cornering whilst you do your daily commute.
Where it could be more interesting is as drivers generate AM', they are added to the big data pool by other drivers. Anyone else using the same path or parts there of would benefit from previous mapping. Scenarios where you have perhaps only markings on the centre of the road and not the outer edge would give the real time autonomous system another data set to compare.
It would not be perfect as it still relies on historical data, but more data is better than less.
In my situation, roads are pretty ordinary, but perhaps having a recording in optimal conditions, then driving the same path with this mapped data would give the autonomous system another reference. To know where the turns are, where the intersections are, any known hazards, which side of the road to lean on whilst dodging a pothole, how much clearance is expected on either side and when to alert the driver.
Happy for criticism. Too late in evening to know if its a hit or miss. Sure Elon' got it covered either way.
TM, You're on the right path. Ignore the media circus. Talk is cheap. Doing is hard. The future belongs to those who make it.