The term “virtual” is used to describe the state of being such without actually being such. In this context, virtual reality can be defined as the state of being real without actually being real. The problem with such a definition is with the inference made about the state of reality or virtual reality.
The concept of a self-driving car reminds me of the concept of a space elevator: easy to think, impossible to realize. Despite that, both concepts have enjoyed huge publicity. The reasons for that are both simple and complex. But above all, the ultimate reason for such concepts is a whole new generation of engineers with an education founded on simulation. In simulation, everything is possible, including anti-gravity.