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Then it sounds like Waze is a fundamentally better-designed product, at least as far as map updates are concerned.

I think your idea of "better designed" doesn't match with what is possible or needed.

An individual car needs to be able to operate "autonomously"
That means by itself with no external input from anything, since at any time that data connection could be limited or not available at all. If (a big if) it does get external input, such as from the cloud, from another vehicle or from the local infrastructure (such as a smart city traffic light), then great.
A system like Waze is different. It is not driving the car or responsible for its safety. It doesn't know about the light that just turned red. It doesn't know about the car that just caught fire right before your eyes (and camera). It is a crowd sourced database that allows generation of GPS navigation routing that is probably better than the year old or month old maps and could be based on just a few minutes delayed data.
There is a proper place for both types of systems and products.

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