This suited throng of synthetic agents obediently rushes away from the burning car. Each agent is endowed with a sophisticated set of typical unconscious behaviors, but each is also programmed with a "personality" to override their instincts, demonstrating complex, rational behaviors that are derived from sociological theories of human behavior (e.g. pedestrians tend to drift right to avoid collisions--even in countries where they drive on the left). Constantly scanning his surroundings, an agent reacts to collisions, his neighbor's actions, and the ever-shifting dynamic of the crowd. Because of the heterogeneity of personalities and unique surroundings for each agent, the behavior of the group as a whole is unpredictable--just like real crowds under duress.
The individual nature of the agents makes the scene much more lifelike than the sims used in multimillion dollar-budget films like Lord of the Rings and King Kong. Crowd scenes in these movies use animation algorithms based on flocking activity, in which each character moves in a preprogrammed way depending upon how her neighbors move.