The basic problem is that the lighting can vary hugely. You can know all there is to know about your sensor and the process after it, but all that does little good if you have no reference for the lighting.
That said, you can have a few limited "canned" lighting situations you can correct for with known profiles. Modern camera sensors are linear, so unlike with film, if you correct for gray anywhere in the picture, it applies to everywhere else subject to the same lighting.
About the only lighting condition that is both recognizable and repeatable enough to be useful is "full sunlight". The means the subject directly illuminated by the sun, no clouds over the sun, and not close to sunrise or sunset. Even then there can be variations due to haze, and what nearby objects light is diffusing from into the shadow areas. However, I've found having a canned "full sunlight" color correction is still useful.
Go out on a nice sunny day within a few hours of noon, and put a bright white but diffuse (not reflective) object on the ground. Take pictures of it somewhat from the side so that the sunlight doesn't reflect off of it directly into the camera. Take a few pictures underexposed from 1 to 3 f-stops.
The best picture is the one with the brightest values but not clipped. Average a section of the picture with only the white object in it. That's your color balance for "white" for future full sun pictures.
Regardless of all that, it's still better to include a white reference in at least one picture of a set taken of the same scene and with the same lighting. Having a available measurement of what white should be is always better than guessing.