Er, why on earth does a sportscar need an electric, or otherwise automated, means of opening the rear hatch in the first place? Are Americans too lazy even to open the trunks of their cars?
Ok, I can see the point of a self-opening trunk lid on something much larger, such as a station wagon, where the owner might be approaching with an armful of groceries, but perhaps the need to automate everything (and build it down to a price) is partly why American sportscars are so derided in Europe?
Would also help its cause if it had been styled, rather than using a cut-and-paste mashup- sportscars are supposed to be beautiful and graceful. This one just looks tacky and derivitive.
If you read it again, the vent is there to allow you to close the trunk.... Ie the doors and other areas are sealed so tightly that there needs to be a place to displace the air when closing one of the openings to the outside world.
Good attention to detail
@bergamot69 The vent is necessary both to relieve the vacuum produced by raising the hatch cover which is well sealed to prevent rain entry and to vent the air pressure produced on closing. A little forethought would prevent sophomoric criticism. This is a well engineered vehicle, not subject to arbitrary design features.
David Best
@bergamot69, the device they describe in the article doesn't open the hatch. It opens a vent in the body below, which allows the deck lid to close more easily. If you look at the picture, you can see a 3D diagram showing where the vent is, that gets opened by the memory wire.
The reason for this is this: When you try to shut a hatch, it causes an increase in pressure inside the passenger compartment. If there is no way to vent air to equalize the pressure, you have to slam the hatch, which is potentially damaging to an all-glass hatch. This also prevents uncomfortable pressure changes in the ears of a passenger, who might be in the car.
My dad had an '86 Z-28 that had an all-glass hatch. It had a motorized pull down mechanism on the glass for this reason. Once the latch reached the mechanism, the motor pulled the hatch down the rest of the way, slowly, to seal the hatch. 
@bergamont69 - Actually in some areas we are lazy, in other areas we are just damn innovative. The one thing I have to ask you is how lazy it is to write a comment blasting us while not even understanding the article and how it is being implemented on the vette? As stated in the article, it will be used "in place of a heavier motorized part to open a vent that allows the trunk lid to close more easily." Do you know what a vent is? (I know cars are smaller in Europe but a hatchback is a little bigger than a vent) Do you understand how the internal pressure of a small cabin can affect one's ability to close a door/trunk and to seal it shut? Notice in any cars how the window drops down a bit when you open the door and goes up a bit to close the window when you shut the door? That is what this innovation is addressing. God, I hate intellectual laziness and how it is replaced with cynicism.
A link to your beloved European design and how they address this phenomenon:
I wonder why they are using an electric actuator, wouldn’t 2 spring loaded pop off valves work (one for opening & one for closing the hatch)?
Jim Sadler
It is rather absurd to use the word smart in connection with a car that makes at least three times the needed power, has poor ground clearance and has an awful record of theft as well as fatal injuries in a wreck. In short Corvettes are about like a Chevy Vega, poorly designed cars that should never have been on the roads.
Pop-off valves would "Pop" which is what this is the solution for. Relieving the pressure and not requiring it to relieve itself seems logical. A Nitinol solution if applied to greater degree is a solution looking for myriad problems to solve. I'm amazed at the European influence on the Vette. I have never thought of the Vette as a sports car but rather a Muscle car. Pop a V-12 in that baby and Go Man Go!
I was thinking the same thing. In fact my Prius has something very like that. It's a simple rubber flapper valve on the bottom passenger side of the underdeck storage area- below the battery. (The 12V lead-acid battery, not the NiMH Hybrid system battery pack- which is under the rear seat.) I'm guessing that my Nissan Quest has something similar, but I don't know where that one is located. So why does the 'Vette need a device that is in any way powered to perform this function? Just another part to malfunction.
I would have thought that the climate control system would provide the necessary venting.