The final cut of TMC Podcast #27 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed: Consolidation in LiDAR manufacturers; Volvo EX90 shipping with LiDAR; FSD Beta Full Release in N.A.; FSD detecting autopilot cheats, Gwen Shotwell directly overseeing SpaceX Starship; and more. You can watch it now on YouTube. We should have it published to podcast networks shortly.
When autopilot was announced (launched), Elon answered some questions and one of those was what happens if the car does not have a live Internet connection. He explained that in that case the data is buffered until the connection is reestablished. This way the system can also capture detailed info on roads/areas with poor Internet coverage. So based on this answer, I assume autopilot data is being sent to the mothership continuously.
After I upgraded to V7, I also had the impression that the bandwidth of the connection improved. In areas where I always had problems listening to streaming audio, there are much less interruptions compared to V6.2.