Yes the batter failed. That's why he's automatically out. But the rule protects runners from having to do something (run) they otherwise would choose not to do, or at least choose to do at their own risk.
Attended 1976 World Series in my Mother's Womb. Attended 1990 World Series Game 2 as a 13 year old. Want to take my son to a a World Series Game in Cincinnati in my lifetime.