I agree. Expecting a driver who's had no interaction with the vehicle for a long period of time to be alert and ready to grab the wheel is a fantasy. Having a "no driver" vehicle from the beginning is the better approach than relying on the fiction of an alert and ready human backup driver.
One article I read about VW's automatic steering mentioned that the driver always have to have their hands on the wheel, indicating their presence and keeping them engaged. That seems a better idea than a system that would allow the driver to hop in the back seat for a nap, but still lulls them into a state where they aren't paying attention and are near-useless in taking over in hurry.
The only practical "driver still required" automatic vehicle I can imagine in the near term is one that works to make highway driving more efficient. Change HOV lanes into "well behaved automatic vehicle lanes" where spacing and discipline is maintained. The best use of machine-driven vehicles is most likely to be in an environment where the vehicles are cooperating to optimize traffic flow. Let the drivers do the stop and go, find the parking spot stuff, let the vehicle do the part where working as a pack or flock is the better approach.