COVID-19 simulator

Using AI to optimise workplace prevention measures

The COVID-19 crisis remains unresolved and the ‘new normal’ has already transformed many areas of our daily lives. The return to familiar offices, the proximity to groups of people on public transportation and in buildings, as well as the start of a new school year raise concerns. How many people are allowed per square metre? How frequently do shared spaces need to be disinfected? And how can the risk of new infections be minimised overall?

To offer the best possible support to our customers and to society in general in these uncertain times, PwC has developed the COVID-19 Simulator, a 3D behaviour and mobility simulator that is capable of answering these questions.

COVID-19 simulator: an overview

Agent-based simulation

Ordinary mathematical models cannot predict the behaviour of the novel coronavirus, as they cannot determine individual circumstances and situation-specific human behaviour to a sufficient extent in advance. The agent-based COVID-19 Simulator takes up this problem.

In addition to the latest scientific studies on the spread of COVID-19, the simulator also considers human behavioural aspects (rational and emotional). This means the agent-based modelling and simulation not only takes into account the required measures, such as rules on physical distancing, but also allows the agent to ignore these rules – thus simulating lived reality. Thanks to this combination of simulation and artificial intelligence, decisions can be taken with greater objectivity and reliability.


The COVID Simulator helps to determine the optimal mix of measures for the selected workspace in order to manage the risk effectively and sustainably, as well as to restrict personal freedom as little as possible.

The COVID-19 Simulator can be used in the following areas to:

  • Develop objective strategies, guidelines and processes for the return to the workplace
  • Involve the workforce in ‘what if’ scenarios to attain clarity and transparency around guidelines and processes, as well as the support of staff
  • Provide evidence to substantiate back-to-work rules and build acceptance
  • Identify workspaces that have a higher risk and that cannot be used at full capacity
  • Test the usefulness and costs of a variety of measures in advance using virtual reality
  • Protect the health of employees with an optimal combination of prevention measures.

COVID-19 simulator in action

The COVID-19 simulator was developed during the crisis and used by PwC Austria to determine measures in the Vienna head office:

Our partners

Together with our project partners, Samariterbund and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the results of the simulator will be refined in the coming months. Experts from Samariterbund will test and simulate the effectiveness of measures at various locations. They will then analyse acceptance of the measures together with AIT. This will enable the results of the simulator to be optimised and the accuracy of the simulator to be confirmed.

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) is Austria’s largest non-university research institution and one of the leading European research organisations specialised in the key infrastructure issues of the future. The Center for Technology Experience looks at fundamental questions on the interaction between people and technology. The focus is always on users. Mehr erfahren


Since its foundation almost 100 years ago, the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Österreichs has fulfilled a social mission. The staff and volunteers of the non-profit organisation provide direct support to the elderly, sick, injured and people in need. Samariterbund is supported by more than 316,000 members and donors across Austria. Its services are provided by more than 10,000 staff and volunteers, as well as 2,000 young people performing alternative civilian service. Mehr erfahren

Contact us

Gerald Dipplinger

Gerald Dipplinger

Partner, Digital, PwC Austria

Tel: +43 1 501 88-3648

Christoph Obermair

Christoph Obermair

Partner, Risk Consulting, PwC Austria

Tel: +43 1 501 88-3629

Ahmad Haj Mosa

Ahmad Haj Mosa

Senior Manager, Tax Technology, PwC Austria

Tel: +43 1 501 88 1240

Tarik Daoud

Tarik Daoud

Senior Manager, Risk Consulting, PwC Austria

Tel: +43 1 501 88 5146